Who Are You?
The brand story – the unique essence and distinctive of your institution – is often one of the most valuable assets in education marketing. Many institutions present too many portrayals of their institution…many times at the price of confusion to the prospective student and parent.It is crucial for every institution to be able to understand and clearly articulate who they are. Your institution’s brand is not the facts and figures, but the very fabric of the unique culture.
How Do Others See You?
Once an institution asked us to assist them in communicating their brand in their education marketing. We did our research and had the conversations about the brand benefits, attributes, and core values and soon discovered that the benefits that the administrators thought that they should lead with were not at all what others perceived.After a brand study, we discovered that the top traits of the institution, from the perspective of the students and parents, were not even in the list we were provided by the administrators. In fact, while testing 30 possible brand benefits that described the institution, the president’s executive staff’s top three were at the bottom in the test.It is critical that you understand your brand: who you are, how others perceive you, and your aspirations of how you want to be seen. This will be valuable in communicating and developing an accurate and strong brand.
Know it and Live it!
With our recent website work with Franklin College, we started the project with our process by listening. During those listening sessions, we learned quite a bit about the institution’s brand from the various stakeholders:
- Board members, etc.
In all of the groups, common and consistent messaging was discovered concerning the essence and values held dear at Franklin College. While our project scope was not to change or modify the brand during that engagement, we did learn what was unique and distinctive about the campus and proceeded to create the web strategy around those unique brand attributes and benefits.
Your Brand: Part of Your Education Marketing Mix
Once you understand your brand, you hold the keys to the beginning of a very compelling education marketing plan that will impact enrollment as well as better engage donors. Those who can articulate the brand will naturally draw like-minded individuals through both inbound and outbound marketing, as well as improve recruitment and retention efforts. Telling your story through infographics, factoids, video, and print is just the start of clear communication to your audience.
How have you discovered your brand story and how do you communicate it in your education marketing?