Branding strategies based on sameness – an approach rampant among law firms and accounting firms, where innovation and leadership take a backseat to precedence and “me too” comfort zones – lead not to strong brands, but commodities. Great brands find a unique, authentic position, often opposite of competitors in almost every way, and leverage that every chance they get.
Whatever you choose for your brand platform, those themes must carry across every aspect of the school’s practices, events, and communications. Clarity and consistency across channels is crucial.
Words are not enough
Remember, this is not just about what you say. Lead with action and a focus on the experience and support it with your communications. All touch points must be aligned to support from the brand – from physical spaces to the brand identity to internal events and rituals to marketing efforts to your teachers, staff, and others (see associated School Branding Audit Checklist for more).
Seek inspiration from your favorite brands
Just because you’re a school doesn’t mean you are relegated to looking at other school branding models. There is a world of brands out there that captures hearts, minds, and dollars, and you should think about whether some of them offer lessons in branding for your school. Whether that is Apple, Disney, Google, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Lululemon, or the neighborhood pizza joint around the corner, think about what makes them great, and why you are inspired to share their stories with your friends and family. Then think about how you can emulate experiences that move others to do the same for your school.