Branding refers to the “image” associated with your product or organisation and how this “image” is strategically defined in the eyes of your target audience. Anything that makes your product unique forms a part of its brand. This includes the company’s name, logo, tagline, and website.
Now, how is branding related to schools? Well, irrespective of the industry type, a strong brand is an immensely valuable asset.
It draws attention to the amazing work your school is doing and enables parents to know what to expect from the institute. They can make an informed decision based on authentic information conveyed through smart branding.
Let’s glance over some of the benefits of school branding.
● Allows your uniqueness to shine through
● Instils trust and confidence
● Creates a sense of belonging
● Allows students and staff to forge an emotional bond with your school
● Marketing becomes seamless and organic
● Attracts the most competent staff
Let us take a look at some of the top elements of a school website brand.
Top 7 elements of a school website brand
School websites encapsulate almost everything one needs to know about a school. They’re a storehouse of information, performing multiple tasks and catering to families, prospective staff, as well as meeting Ofsted guidelines.
Here are the top 7 elements for creating an successful brand that can tilt the scale in favour of your school:
1. Brand Promise: Stand by what you say
A brand promise states the school’s purpose in no uncertain terms. It serves as a guide for an effective marketing strategy and ensures you’re accountable for delivering a message that is at par with the customer experience.
Ensure your promises are genuine and backed by consistent performance. If there’s a discrepancy between what you promise and what you eventually deliver, your brand’s popularity will take a hit.
2. Positioning Statement: When words ring true
Often, it’s the short and simple phrases that linger for a long time. Trust those gripping taglines to sum up your school’s brand promise in the most memorable way!
Crisp and concise at two to six words, these statements resonate with prospective and existing families likewise. Besides “sounding good”, the taglines should be in sync with your school’s ideals and principles.
3. Visual Identity: Seeing is believing
More recognition equates greater trust. Thus, elevate your brand stature by creating a strong visual identity with appropriate logos and colour palette.
This is one investment you won’t regret. Make your branding style guide easily accessible to staff and faculty through the school’s website. Back it up with a list of do’s and don’ts so that your brand’s image remains untarnished.
4. Differentiators: What makes you different?
Besides the visual differentiators, try relying on quick facts, statistics, and infographics to put across your points. Visitors would be at ease recalling key facts from a sea of information. Sprinkle these statistics on the oft-visited pages of your website and watch the impact they create.
5. Personality: Let yourself be heard
What you say and how you say it makes a lot of difference. As your brand is the truest reflection of who you are, be mindful of the tone and tenor of the language used to represent your school in the public domain.
Adhere to grammar rules and ensure there’s consistency in terminology and degree of formality. Different people from different backgrounds may contribute to your website’s content. The overall language should be aligned with the brand’s values and promises.
6. Brand Communications: Convey and Connect
For communications to be effective and impactful, try adopting a multi-layered approach. Reach out to parents, students and your staff through newsletters, emails, contests, banners, notices on school boards. Keep an eye on details to ensure every time you communicate, it becomes a natural extension of the brand’s core values.
7. Brand Story: Stories that stay with you
Once you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to put out poignant stories that’ll generate positive buzz and bring in the right families. Here, testimonials come in handy.
A truly heart-felt testimonial has the power to appease anxious parents and affirm their faith in the school. Brand stories encompass newsletters, blogs, social media posts and almost anything you share online and offline.
A focused and consistent approach to school branding displays a degree of professionalism and shows how seriously the school pursues its standards of excellence.
With the right branding strategy, your school can stand out from its competitors and make a lasting impression in the minds of impressionable young kids and their concerned parents.