At the end of the day, a school is just as much a brand as Apple or Coca Cola. And you cannot underestimate just how important it is to get your brand right as it is your window to the outside world.
From the moment a prospective parent lands on your website, an impression is created. And as we have said before, you never get a second chance at creating a first impression. Therefore, you have got to set the tone from the word go with your logo, the colours and the design.
Your branding is your personality. It creates your identity and it needs to convey your core values and build trust. It needs to track across all of your literature, whether that is stationery, newsletters, emails and your prospectus, to create a coherent, established message and this will help to build trust with both prospective and current parents and pupils.
Don’t forget that you are competing for admissions and so you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and show your strengths as a school. If your brand doesn’t reflect this, you are missing the point. So whether it’s sporting prowess, academic achievement or a mixture of both, make sure that your USP (unique selling point) is highly visible and reflected in your brand.
Make sure that imagery on your website and in your literature reflects your values and shows how you are different. Don’t just plump for generic shots… really get to the heart of what makes your school special and capture these qualities.
In addition, make sure that you get endorsements from pupils, parents and third parties. Everyone can fly their own flag but when you have the credibility of others doing it for you as well, this will underpin the trust that you are building.
And make sure that you use social media to get your message out there. We all know the power of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, so utilise these platforms to get your message out there amongst your prospective parents and pupils.