Each educational institution – whether it is an ordinary school, a university, or even specialized specialists, has its own “face” – a kind of brand that positions it in the market of educational services. Building an education brand is much more than just a story. This is a strategy that purposefully affects the activity and attitude of the audience. Let’s consider three principles of brand strategy – mission, goal, and vision
1. A powerful mission
Since educational institutions play a key role in society, it is precisely the clear and consistent mission of each that is most important in the conduct of its activities. It should not be a pompous and majestic phrase, but a tool that will lead to the solution of daily challenges and allow each participant in the process to understand his role and purpose. For example, it can be a research organization, an educational charity, or a research organization. And at the stage of forming the mission, the organizers of the institution already have a vision of how and under what conditions the process will take place.
What are the advantages of a properly formed mission:
- the ability to stand out among competitors;
- the ability to communicate its main purpose to users;
- the probability that the target audience will quickly understand why they should choose this particular institution.
If educational programs, methods, ways of learning, and qualifications of different educational institutions may still have common features, then the mission itself is the element that will distinguish them from each other. For example, the mission may be based on the following motives:
- specifying the goal of education (a person does not just get an education but with a specific goal);
- bet on high indicators of personal development (today, this concept ranks almost higher than academic success);
- uniqueness (that is offered in this institution and used as the best ways to study for success).
2. Values are the driving force of brand development
When listing the values of an educational institution, it is worth making sure that they are:
- clear and constructive;
- exactly correspond to the specifics of the activity;
- is an integral part of the customer experience.
Values are the second component of branding, and if they are blurred, vague, and unclear for whom and why they are written, then this will only negatively reflect on the reputation of the institution. Let’s at least mention the fact of how powerful and famous individual schools, colleges, and universities with many years of history and values to which they remain faithful. In the concept of values, in addition to education itself, emphasis can be placed on:
- noble upbringing;
- good manners;
- justice and equality;
- talent support, etc.
Before suggesting that visitors adopt the school’s values, make sure that the entire staff knows about them and adheres to them in their work. Inconsistency of reality with written postulates often leads to unexpected consequences.
If the values are laid down correctly, then their daily implementation in practice will begin to interact with the target audience. Yes, a real brand is produced and confirmed for decades, or even centuries. But later he starts working at an educational institution. That is, adherence to values becomes a business card, and graduates of the institution become representatives of the brand, which advertise it abroad.
How to form your values if you are just starting to do this:
- pay attention to the key aspects of the institution’s activity;
- what distinguishes you from similar institutions;
- look at educational services not only from the perspective of the provider but also from the perspective of the recipient;
- list the things that are special in the process of education and upbringing.
After the first attempt, you may come away with a lot of information. However, it must be sifted once more and as a result, only a few phrases should remain. They will become your business card, pride, and exclusiveness.
3. The tone of the brand will allow it to stand out against the background of competitors
What is tone and why is it important to distinguish it? This is a way and an opportunity to convey the uniqueness of the brand to the target audience. It depends on him how people will respond to the brand and whether it will be able to win authority, trust, and in the future – reputation.
If we are talking about educational institutions, their brand should sound:
- a little altruistic;
Manifestations of authoritarianism are not allowed in the tone of the brand, which in itself contradicts the principles of pedagogy. Make sure that your brand sounds right, and that the tone corresponds to the principles – the mission and values of the educational institution.
By offering pupils and students to get an education within the walls of this particular institution, you must guarantee to them that the teachers and the staff follow the rules they have drawn up. The fact that all participants in the educational process can talk about it arbitrarily can be considered the greatest effectiveness of a properly developed brand. And this information will coincide with the values and mission officially established within the walls of the institution.
4. A recognizable brand builds trust
Every year, more and more new institutions appear in the world that offer various educational services to the audience. This is a fierce competition, where everyone fights for their client in all ways allowed by law. Yes, there are institutions with a century-old history that no one dares to compete with. But what about those who are new to the education market? How to successfully stand out to make a statement and be remembered? The most effective way is to work solidly on an apt and convincing brand and its components. Remember that this is the greatest asset of any company, especially an educational one. And the first step that leads to success is recognition. If customers can identify you effortlessly in a competitive market, that’s a very good sign. So, let’s consider how a brand should work so that you understand that it is successful.
It is in the educational environment that your institution should be recognized by both customers and fellow competitors. Recognition depends on the ability to present the institution in various ways.
Systematically working to validate your brand will build trust with your target audience over time. And it, in turn, will increase your ranking among other educational institutions.
If the institution meets the values and goals declared on the market, then its brand remains on the lips of consumers. Accordingly, graduates will recommend it to future generations. This is the best advertisement that says you are on the right path and your brand is consistently working for you. This is a way to constantly attract a new audience.
Working in an educational company where everyone adheres to the stated values and its brand is widely known is a source of pride for every team member. People work better, take more responsibility for their duties and value their work if they understand that they are dealing with a leader. In such institutions, there is practically no staff turnover, and each new specialist is taught to the maximum in order to confirm the trust shown to him.
The value of educational work
The more famous the brand of a school or university, the more valuable it is to receive an education within its walls. Competition for the right to enter the institution is a motivating phenomenon as a result of proper branding.
How to create a dream brand?
When working on the brand, which will later become the face of the institution, it is necessary to pay attention to the main factors. They will allow you to clearly and professionally define your strengths and package them under a successful exclusive brand. So:
Determine from the start that you will offer your audience something that they cannot get anywhere else. Even if it is a classic educational model, there should be a feature that will allow you to be recognized.
Determine who exactly you work for. Without knowing anything about potential customers, it is impossible to think of a competent strategy for the development of the company.
Analysis of competitors
Find out the strengths and weaknesses of competing institutions. This is necessary in order to profitably stand out against their background with novelty and exclusivity.
Quality of services
The quality of the provision of educational services within the walls of the institution must be unquestionable. Everything should work for her – technologies, and teaching methods.
Value of services
Emphasize the importance of educational services that the audience will be able to receive at this institution. It should already be clear from the brand that your advantage is more than just classical education.
Communication with the audience
In order to create a high level of trust, you need to communicate with existing and potential customers constantly and in various forms. For this, be sure to involve social networks, and create an educational portal, blog, or website. Here you can talk about the features of the institution, answer questions and conduct surveys that will help you get to know the audience better.
Don’t be afraid to show your audience the faces of those who work for the educational brand. This will increase the level of trust and emotional attachment to the brand.
It is necessary not only to create a brand but also to work on it
Each educational brand is years of hard work, and brainstorming by the institution’s organizers and employees, multiplied by the desire to stand out and become No. 1 in its market. It’s successes and failures, disappointments, and motivation to keep going if you know exactly where you’re going. After all, high success is always difficult to achieve. However, if you have already reached the top, this does not mean that the work on the brand is finished.
A more responsible period is coming, when your mission is to support him with dignity. Which means to adhere to all the values declared to the public in the work. Improve services and constantly update them, keep up with the times and offer consumers of educational services only the best options and opportunities. You have no right to make a mistake, you cannot stumble on the professional path or change direction.
In fact, there are not so many brand development strategies, there are many more ways and methods to develop and achieve them. After all, everyone approaches this matter individually, and this is the peculiarity of branding. Therefore, before entering the market, make sure that you have chosen the right strategy and bet on exactly the feature that will attract a potential client. Choose the best ways to study for success to conquer your market. If necessary, use the services of specialized specialists in the creation and popularization of the brand.
Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.