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Branding Helps Marketing Your Charter School in 4 Major Ways



Branding and marketing are not the same.


The way to view the relationship is that a branding agency gives birth to the brand, while marketing and advertising grow the brand.


Before kicking off your marketing efforts, make sure that a proper brand was birthed.


Here are the 4 ways branding helps your charter school marketing.


1: DEFINING THE EXPERIENCE


FROM THE INSIDE: Before marketing, first, clearly articulating what makes your school stand out. Answering the following questions collaboratively with teachers, parents, and students will ensure that everyone talks consistently about your school experience.

  • What words would you use to define your school experience?

  • What unique programs and services do you offer?

  • Why do families choose your school?

  • What does the community value and expect from your school?

If you're stumped on answering any of these questions, just ask a parent! Leave out the guesswork and ask families why they chose your school.


Since branding happens at every touchpoint where someone comes in contact with your brand, we also make recommendations in the following areas:

  • Aesthetics matter. When schools have the look of being cared for on the inside and outside (well maintained classrooms, building and grounds), it is assumed that the students are cared for.

  • Developing a welcome packet or online resource that answer common questions is a great way to greet new students and parents.

  • The first visit to your school establishes the tone of the relationship between the school staff and the family. Consider these image builders for your front-line staff:

    1. A friendly front office

    2. Promptly answered phones

    3. Easy-to-navigate website and automated phone directory

    4. Rapid response to phone calls and emails

    5. Staff is eager to show off the school

    6. Staff is passionate and knowledgeable about the program

    7. Students say hello to visitors


2: RETAINING FAMILIES


Satisfaction is a rating, loyalty is a brand. An important way to assess your success is by the number of families who re-enroll every year. It is important to continue to work on your relationship with your families even after they are committed to your school.

The best recruitment strategy is a great retention strategy.

Retain the families in your school by letting them know they are valued and asking them to stay

  • Thank families for choosing your school.

  • Share the unique experiences that your school offers.

  • Articulate the commitment you and your staff make every day to the school’s students and their families.

Prioritize Parent Communication

Branding is a form of communication. Parents have an everyday interest in what occurs in your charter school, and they make major decisions that can affect your school such as whether their child remains enrolled. You should be especially sensitive to their communication needs.

  • Send teacher introduction letters on company letterhead and/or conduct home visits at the start of the year to outline expectations.

  • Share the good news. When the school does well and when students do well, let parents know with branded social media posts.

  • Send a branded periodic school newsletter to parents highlighting past and upcoming events.

  • Encourage teachers to communicate regularly with parents; they may consider sending home content-relevant questions for parents to ask their children about what they are learning.

  • Anticipate and provide information that parents want and need (e.g., grading policy, homework requirements, discipline policy, ways to contact their teacher).

  • Include parents on your list of those to be nurtured and recognized. Do this by posting a parent of the month on your social media using a branded template.

  • Send a satisfaction survey to parents at the end of the year to gather feedback on how to improve your school experience. Communicate the results and use the results to improve your branding for the following year.


3: GROWING ENROLLMENT


When preparing marketing materials with the correct copy, story, headlines, and imagery, the brand you established will impact your enrollment success.


As a branding agency, we focus on creating material for the "transition years".

  • An Elementary School: we focus on a "Kindergarten Campaign" to early childhood providers

  • A Middle School: We focus on an "Elementary Campaign" to elementary schools whose 5th graders will need a new home

  • A High School: We focus on the 8th graders of K-8 schools that will be searching for a new school for their child.

In each of these cases above, we have our clients obtain student lists for schools within close geographic proximity in order to target your marketing.


Then, we have them target transition year teachers at nearby schools. Share information about your school and obtain information about their students. Invite them to experience

your school during the school day. Invest time in cultivating and sustaining these

relationships.


Lastly, we help our clients create branded materials for their open house events. You'll hold events for transition year students at their school and at your school. Provide opportunities for students and their families to visit and experience your school.


If you have the bandwidth, build your brand in with paid advertisements in the local community newspapers and Home Owners Association newsletters. These are are budget-friendly and have the best chance of reaching your intended audience. Don't put any information other than your tagline or slogan. Add logo very big with a website at the bottom. That's it.


4: CREATING BRAND AMBASSADORS


Our goal with clients is to create a brand that others will be proud to share. Ambassadors can be a tremendous asset in spreading the word about your school. They can significantly extend your marketing reach and impact. We just need to give them a brand that they are proud to be a part of.


Who are your ambassadors?

  • Students

  • Parents and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

  • Teachers

  • Staff

  • Volunteers

  • Board Members

  • Student and Family Alumni

  • Your branding agency (yup, we're going to spotlight you, too!)

How you can use your ambassadors?

  • As a reference for prospective students and their families.

  • To lead school tours or share their experience during a school tour or open house.

  • To provide positive testimonials of their experience.

  • To serve as a liaison/buddy to new students and their families.

  • To go door-to-door to promote your school.

  • To host “meet-and-greets” in their homes for prospective families

  • in the area.

  • To address community groups such as Rotary, Chambers, Kiwanis to publicize the school, help recruit board members and create community ambassadors.

How do you activate your ambassadors?

  1. TEACH THEM TO CONNECT - Teach them the skills to be a good storyteller and presenter. Provide them with the messages you want them to communicate, but encourage them to make those messages their own.

  2. GIVE THEM A PROJECT - Align their talents, skills, passion, and knowledge with opportunities. Give great public speakers a forum and those who are extremely personable, 1-1 opportunities.

  3. LET THEM LEAD - Ask your ambassadors to create opportunities to promote your school and let them lead in organizing them.


Investing in great branding will make it easy for people to talk about you and do the selling for you, therefore reducing your marketing and advertising expenses.


 

Are you a charter school management company? Let's talk about your brand strategy! Schedule a discovery call with us here: https://www.educationalbrands.com/book


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