Sunday, November 08, 2009

Branding Lessons: Build School Culture and Identity with Branding

You're an educator and you are starting to think about branding. Of course, you can't help but do this. When I am asked in business settings about my ability to work within the business community, since my perspective is informed by education, I simply smile and say..."I've been in the business sales all my life. I've sold "education" to a diverse marketplace: students, teachers, parents, administrators, school board members and the community."
So today, with my sales perspective, I'm traveling the country speaking to educators about the common ground of educators and business people. The ground of selling and living a BRAND for ROI in education.
Let's capture one Branding definition to work with. Branding is a total experience for the user that is based on relationship. It's more than a logo or a tagline.
If we lead with that principle, then as educators, we should feel a good fit. Education is about building relationships. Educators work hard to do honor that, and have their own tools that make this harmony of relationship building happen everyday in schools. SO with that in mind, can a school culture be created through strategic understanding and a champaign to advance a brand? Can this result in brand loyalty among students, teachers, parents, administrators, board members and the community?
To define what education is today is as challenging as defining what a brand is. There are many ways people try to define both, and branding is in essence solid and changing at the same time. That is true for education as well.
The way to make connections right off the bat is through CULTURE. Branding tenets that are from Madison Avenue's hallowed halls are perfect tools to develop language and attitude for building CULTURE across the diverse market for education. The beginning of the work lies in the understanding that branding is based in an implied promise. In schools, the promise is achievement. Savvy principals today can be Madmen...or women leaders by applying Madison Avenue tools to include branding, some marketing and a dash of social media to create culture that feeds a loyalty to the organization. Madman Principles? They work. And you'd be crazy not to try.

About the Author
Ms. Rubin is the president of the Edventures group, a NYC based consultancy that helps individuals and organizations grow though marketing, branding and networking services.

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