Branding is about winning the heart, a feeling, or an emotion.
As a school administrator, you probably associate a brand with a logo, colors, and website design. However, unless yours is a well-known brand, it isn’t likely that most people who see your school logo or school colors will have a strong emotion associated with those images at first. What may attract them initially is being sold on your school’s values and identity. Furthermore, your values will become more apparent as you tell your story, build relationships, and empower those around you.
A brand is basically about connecting and belonging. We all want to belong. Thus, when we identify with a brand, we belong to the school community. When communities, families, and schools work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school—much better.
To create that unity, with everyone working toward the same goal, you must invite others to believe in and identify with your values. You want your community to be proud of and support your school. You want to attract elite teachers and staff, as well as talented students. Branding can help you make that happen when communicating your school’s values becomes an integral part of your branding strategy.
What Does Your School Stand For?
The first step in building a positive brand for your school is to understand what the current perception is of your institution in the public eye. It is easier for those who work in your school to assume they have a good handle on how parents and community members think about education. But, their viewpoint is likely biased. Consequently, you may have a different perspective on your school values than many of your parents and community members.
So, step one would be to gather the collective viewpoints of those outside of your institution. The more you engage parents and other community members in the process of building your brand, the more powerful that brand will be.
Creating a Vision for Your Values
As it stands now, how would you describe your school’s values to someone in 30-seconds? That is the next step in developing your school brand. This includes your school’s value proposition—what value you bring to your audiences.
Whether you use your school’s mission or vision statement or simply a series of words that define what you want to represent, everyone must believe in the values. Your vision statement or tagline should become a reference point in communicating your values. It should be a reminder of what your school’s focus is.
Are the values your brand claims being taught? Are teachers incorporating teachable moments in the classroom that highlight one of your values? Do some of your school stories show evidence of that success? If you say you meet the needs of each child, do you have stories about how you differentiate instruction for individual students or use small group instruction successfully? This is how you create a clear brand image and make a brand goal a reality.
Branding Solutions for Your School
At SportsGraphics, we offer a wide range of athletic products that can help you boost your school’s brand while providing a safe environment for your athletes. We offer wall padding, gym floor mats, wall graphics, bleacher enclosures, and custom banners.
To find out more about how our products can create a safer environment for your facility, call us at 1-800-257-6405, or message us on our contact page.