Ever hear talk of a “brand school”? It’s an institution — large or small — where people share in a promise they deliver to students. It inspires sustained pride among alumni. It has a vibe that comes through to prospective students, from your tours to your website to your letters of admission. A brand school has a collaborative culture fostered by senior leadership. Its communications and enrollment marketing teams engage faculty, colleagues, and constituents in composing a brand narrative. Admissions and advancement staff support each other and co-author stories that show the impact the school has on its people and in the wider region they serve.
Are you a “brand school”? Would you like to be?
To build awareness of your institution, all of your constituents have to be able to represent your brand position confidently. It starts with a brand positioning statement that captures:
- The most distinctive aspects of the campus experience.
- The kind of person who wants that type of experience.
- The proof found in the history and the realities of the school.
But a positioning statement is just a starting point.
Has your campus conducted a brand study? Do the outcomes of that study still resonate on campus? If not, it’s probably time for an objective evaluation of the steps you need to take to maintain a strong brand. Here are some questions to consider:
- If you feel your brand is defined, to what degree has it been adopted campus-wide?
- Do you know how many people among faculty, staff, senior administration, the board, current students, and alumni actively utilize the brand tools?
- Would members of the admissions and marketing teams be able to similarly describe the attitudinal orientation and general comportment of a “right-fit” student? How about people in student life and on the faculty?
- Is there an appreciation for the school’s history among students and alumni across the generations?
- Brand guides messaging, which informs content. How often does the senior leadership team collaborate with the marketing team regarding your content strategy and the plans for its deployment?
See examples of schools that got it right.
Check out this post from Inside Higher Ed about the enduring aspect of the Gettysburg College brand.
Connect through strategic content.
Spot your best stories and tell them with your own distinct personality.
Reach people where they are today.
Build enduring relationships with every audience by responding to their needs.
Are you brand-ready? Let’s talk.
At Cognitive Marketing, we’ve worked with independent schools and colleges of all sizes, each at their own stage of brand development, and we’re here to help.
Talk to us about how we can custom-fit brand services to your institution, wherever you are on the journey to being a brand school.
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