Education article

Why Independent Schools need to be braver with brand

What do you say to parents who ask why they should choose your school for their children? How do you convince them that you can provide a suitable learning environment?

Creative marketing is not just about advertising and organising events, it’s about knowing your target market, providing for their needs and communicating your stand out message clearly and effectively.

There is no getting away from the fact that schools today are businesses. Your proposition to the outside world and how it is presented has a direct effect on how people relate to your establishment with a resulting impact on admissions, revenue, success and reputation.

Independent schools and colleges need now, more than ever to embrace the importance of their brand, messaging and marketing in order to remain a viable choice as future education providers. Growing competition from non-fee paying schools, along with powerful takeovers and mergers, means simply doing what you’ve always done might not be enough to keep you as the preferred choice.

Going the extra mile and investing time and effort in creating outstanding marketing will help deliver your unique message. Marketing excellence will differentiate your school from your competitors. The right combination of imagery and carefully chosen messaging can set your school apart in a saturated marketplace. Don’t follow the herd, dare to be different. Focus on your organisation’s strengths and really shout about them.

Don’t get wrapped up in boardroom politics. Identify what genuinely differentiates you. Schools may want to a promote a particular set of USPs but alumni, parents and pupils may have been influenced by other factors in their decision to choose your school. Knowing and understanding your audiences better can help you shape your messaging.

Once you know why and how families choose your school, you can build your campaigns to showcase success stories and inspirational messages from past and present learners that align with your messaging. Peer to peer messages using real experiences and real people can be far more effective than placing yet another advert in local press.

Don’t forget the human factor

Everyone always remembers a good teacher, and a great club or team they were involved in. These are some of your greatest assets – promote them to promote your school.

Quality shines through

Starting with your identity, your crest, your badge, your logo or however you describe it, if you’re promoting your school as a school of distinction, ensure everything that bears your brand deserves it. This is your reassurance of quality.

Target your marketing approach

It’s important to concentrate on the approaches that will have the greatest impact. It is crucial that you are monitoring what activities result in pupils, parents and teachers choosing your school over a competitor. You need to ensure that you’re advertising in the right way and sending out communications that get the best results.

Delivering a consistent message

From the very first enquiry, make sure you’re communicating effectively in order to make your school stand out in a competitive marketplace. Consistent, professional and welcoming communications will reassure parents and learners that they have made the right choice.

Create a powerful brand and know what you stand for

Your school brand is what people think when they hear your name. It is your school’s reputation. It really does matter. It is worth the effort to do it right.

At Dsquared we work hand-in-hand with our school, college and university clients helping them achieve outstanding marketing results. We provide them with inspiring marketing campaigns and exceptional rebrands, that engage with target audiences across print, digital and social media.

Centrally located, in the historic town of Stamford, we are easily accessible by road or rail. We have created a haven for coffee and creative brainstorming, offering clients the opportunity to enjoy working closely with a team of talented and approachable designers and marketeers. So when you to stand out with an outstanding creative campaign, we’re ready.

Let's work together!