How to Create a Successful School Branding Strategy

 17 May, 2022

Introduction

Throughout the year, families begin finding a new school for their children. Your goal as an institution should be to catch the students' attention and show them what you're all about. But, unfortunately, it's difficult to plan ahead when you have no idea how or where they will come upon you.

Here, branding comes into play. Branding is the process of portraying your school's personality and character in all of your communications, from your newsletters to the banner in the front hallway. It's the finest approach to get people to associate your institution with a specific mental image.

What is School Branding?

Schools are crucial institutions that affect the future of our society. But how do you create a successful school branding strategy?

Schools must have a clear, compelling vision for their brand and work to build connections with stakeholders like parents, students, faculty, alumni, and community members.

To create a successful school branding strategy, schools should start by understanding the needs of their target audience. Schools should also consider how they want to be perceived by the public and how they want to position themselves in the market.

School branding includes all the activities meant to provide a public image of your school. They include branding services, advertising, and marketing. With this said, schools today need to do it in much more effective ways in order to compete with their peers and even bigger brands.

The school brand is created by the staff, as well as by students, parents, alumni, and anyone else who will give their input. The brand also evolves based on how the school changes throughout time.

Why Your School Brand Needs to be Unique and Different from the Competition

The goal of a school brand is to create a sense of belonging and identity among students, parents, staff members, and the community. Therefore, a school brand should be unique in every way possible so that it stands out from the competition.

School branding is important because it's one of the first things a student will encounter when they start their journey into education. The first impression that they receive about your school will be through your branding.

A unique school brand can help attract the best talent to your institution and make sure that you stand out from the competition. In addition, schools should provide intellectual enrichment opportunities for students so they can foster their talents, support their interests, and prepare them for success.

One way to differentiate schools from one another is through branding. Brands define themselves by offering something new or different from what's already out there, making sure that their branding has specific purposes to make it memorable in the minds of consumers. Schools need to have a unique and memorable image to compete with other colleges and universities. 

The public school branding should give them a sense of belonging and trust. 

Schools are considered to be valued brands that set the tone for their respective communities. They have an influence on the lives of students and parents, as well as on the reputation of the country.

The school brand is a representation of what it means to be part of that institution, and we need to make sure that it stands out from competitors by creating unique policies, promoting student-focused activities, and providing quality education.

While every school has a unique identity, they also need to consider the different stakeholders that they need to appeal to, including parents, students, and faculty.

Schools are constantly searching for new ways to stand out in the market. The challenge is that brands differ from one another in many ways, and it can be hard for them to develop school branding ideas that satisfy their needs.

To avoid these common pitfalls, we have compiled some principles on how to develop effective school branding strategies based on our experience working with schools. 

school branding strategies

  1. Focus on the positives first. Don't be afraid to think big and brave but start with an honest assessment of what you do well. What is unique about your school, its mission, and its students.
  2. Get your stakeholders involved early in the process. Involve parents, teachers, and students in developing a brand identity that reflects their values.
  3. Make your brand name memorable, so your target audience can easily recognize it. Good names are the most memorable, famous, and unique.
  4. Remember that a brand is more than just a logo. A brand's personality shines through in everything it does and how it communicates. This is what makes it different from other brands.
  5. Ensure a brand includes the name, business location, and website of its employees and owners. A brand must be careful not to forget this part of itself when interacting with people online. It's important to know who's behind the brand.
  6. Understand your audience. Every brand needs to understand the audience they are trying to reach, which should be a key part of their marketing strategy. It's imperative that brands understand what they mean to their customers and tailor advertisements accordingly. 
  7. Create a sense of urgency. It can be difficult to create a sense of urgency if your brand isn't in close proximity to the competition, but this is often the best way to promote sales and generate interest in your brand. Think about using events as well as social media to draw attention and get people excited about your product or service. 
  8. Keep it simple. A lot of times, people start by making too many promises and trying to make their company sound more valuable than it is. That doesn't mean you should be stingy with your information, but understand that you're working with a consumer who might not have a ton of experience in the world of marketing. So you need to use easy-to-understand language.
  9. Be your own marketing consultant and think about how to make your school stand out. The more you do, the better chance you get the word out and make a name for yourself as someone who goes above and beyond in their field. 
  10. Use social media to market your company and share content that's meaningful to you and your audience.

The importance of high school branding is undeniable. A successful brand provides an opportunity for students, parents, and teachers to connect with a school with one single message. 

How to Create a Unique and Impactful Brand

Brands are the promise, the big idea, the expectations of the customer that reside in their minds regarding their business product or service. Branding aims to create an emotional connection with the customers.  

Brands often display the values of an organization and its mission. After all, students and teachers that seek to find the best schools choose their hearts. If you reach this point with unparalleled excellence, you will be considered a respected educational institution. Keep in mind it isn't easy for schools to create their own branding materials. The following are the suggestions that you should consider to develop the best school branding.

Style Guide

Your school style guide is a document that has formatted vector artwork for your official school name, secondary logo, and Wordmark, as well as your official school color palette or font. These documents will be shared among signs manufacturers, shirts, printers, media, and other educational organizations who need to reproduce your logo. 

Style guides can explain your brand voice message design principle and many other things very precisely. They will teach your team members how to use different languages in different situations and how to incorporate color schemes into design and communication techniques for your customers. This is the bible of the brand you own. Branding services company will assist in preparing a detailed style guide to avoid confusion.

Show History In Your School's Branding

It does not matter whether you are attending school or an allied education. Your institutions represent your philosophy. The parent who chooses a school will want to choose an organization that possesses a good track record. Display this with your school logo. Color and imagery, videos and graphics, logos, and stories play an important role in telling your story. Incorporating history into school branding can determine if a teacher wants to grow together. 

Show Diversity

A school brand that embodies diversity will open many doors for everyone worldwide. If your target audiences are primarily focused on one location, you have to show that through your school branding strategy.  

Brand Persona

For a school brand to have positive associations with the student, it is important to determine what these people are seeking from the educational institutions and the factors that are turning them off. When it comes to reworking or creating new personas for the students, it is important to develop these personas as they evolve in the course. 

Insights into preference, motivation, and concerns will help you decide what you’ll be highlighting the best and which characteristics you may want to improve upon more frequently. The best way is to use professional school branding services.

Incorporate Your Community and History into Your School's Branding

Your school doesn't exist in a void. You are involved with a broader community, and for some people, the surroundings play an important role in enrolling. For example, millennials are often interested in learning about college involvement with philanthropic initiatives in their area. Other prospective student parents associate credibility with an illustrious school history; they prioritize schools that have existed for 50-50 years.

Be Consistent With Colors And Text

The branding of schools should remain consistent across websites as well as print media. A lack of consistent graphics and colors can affect student perception and make them more frustrated. Take Austin University as an example. The longhorn bull, burnt orange, and white color are consistent throughout the company. So when a student is searching the web, they feel familiar with the place.

Spread Your Brand Story

Social media is becoming the platform for businesses, organizations, and educational institutions to increase awareness, spread their mission, and serve their communities. If you can tell an interesting story, you will have a greater chance of getting more student admissions.

Image Credit: https://penji.co/

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is an important subset of branding messages that is important enough for discussion. Branding is basically how you stand out from your competition. Think of one aspect of your school that differentiates you completely compared to others in your industry. If you can't answer this question correctly, you could lose customers.

Companies that provide branding strategy services and they can be good partners. They also analyze organizational performance and market research to find the best possible solutions and to find out the needs of your school.

Brand Voice

Branding is like the individual: they each express their own personal identity. Some are pleasant and tolerant, some are serious, but a few have unfailing professionalism, and a few are aspirations. Establishing and maintaining a branding presence across every touchline is vital. A strong branding voice enables companies to establish themselves – any deviation can adversely affect your school’s perceptions. Every brand needs a branding professional services to make sure projects go smoothly, on time, and on budget.

Logo Design

One way to do this is through logos and symbols. A logo is an emblem or symbol that a company, institution, or person uses to identify itself with a specific meaning and distinguishes it from other organizations using similar emblems. 

The school branding is the first impression of your institution, and you have to make sure that it is unique and different from the competition. Your logo can give you an idea about the brand to many potential customers. Usually, the logo is the face of the organization, so it should tell potential customers what to look at. The design of the logo can support marketing in many ways. 

Understand Your Target Audience

You need to know your audience's needs. Blending a school's identity with that of the community will help strengthen its sense of belonging and value, generate pride in its students and staff, and create meaningful connections with parents, teachers, administrators, and the wider community. However, a school should not try to sell itself as an instance of a particular community, as this will undermine its integrity. An example of a school's sense of identity could include the following: 

  • Students are encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities and events for their own enjoyment.
  • The school's peer culture is one of being innovative and creative in order to improve education.
  • The school has a unique identity, with students from diverse backgrounds working together to create an open dialogue about social issues and power structures.

Slogan

A strong slogan or mission statement that is relevant to the students, parents, and teachers that you serve. It should resonate beyond words like “we are” or “we have done” and get straight to the heart of what makes this school different from other schools with similar missions. 

Culture and Events

A clear identity in terms of its values and culture that unifies its members regardless of where they come from and how they interact within the community. This involves reinforcing these ideals through programs throughout the year, such as plays, art exhibitions, etc., as well as through fun events such as annual events and school-wide games.

Growth Plan

A strong, sustainable growth plan sets realistic, achievable benchmarks for the school’s success. This will include an annual performance plan and goals, as well as a timeline for the implementation of the plan. A strategic plan developed and implemented by the school’s leadership team is a great idea.

Are You Ready To Take The First Step?

Your website, email, social media, etc., may all benefit from school branding now that you understand why and how it works. Your school branding guide should always be evolving and expanding to keep up with your institution's progress. Make sure to keep an eye on your messaging and your visual image to ensure that you're staying true to your brand promise and that you're still relevant in your market.

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P

Paul

School branding is a combination of marketing, public relations, and communications strategy that engages and inspires school communities. Very well explained!

J

Jax Williams

Enjoyed reading the blog

J

Jessy

Great strategy ideas

O

Omar Moore

If you are looking for guidance about how to build a brand that your school can be proud of, this is the blog for you.

K

Kyle Lee

Loved it!

A

Adonis Smith

Can you explain more about how I can leverage social media to brand a school better?

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