Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Branding for Student Achievement

Are Branding and Student Achievement Related?

It may seem a stretch to connect Branding, a marketing concept, with school reform. But in my days at central offices, I was always interested in the studies about student achievement that were linked to outlier theories beyond drill and kill and attacking the standards to improve achievement. One of these outliers seemed to be the notion of trust, and the book Trust in Schools and the trust movement that developed in the early part of 2000 always held interest. Since branding is a concept that is based upon trust, my thinking as a marketer and educator is fired. Could there be a possibility that bringing a branding conversation into the educational setting help to improve student performance?

I’d like to think it’s worth talking about.

Bryk and Schneider (2002) cite growth and change as key components in the success of a school. A move to branding a school would be part of a bold change process. One of the major goals of branding is the continual building of relationships between the organization and the client. So starting a branding conversation that is aimed at client satisfaction, goes naturally to high performance. Building a brand is part of the development of a great school with high satisfaction and high achievement.

Trust is part of delving into brand. As an organizational effort, the exercise of branding the school can be a welcomed as a chance for developing trust among peers as participants.It affords the chance to contribute, listen, vision, together and build a unique brand to be presented to the public.

Trust figures into branding schools. If school improvement is powered by the genuine social and the cultural features of the school, trust is the grease that is necessary as leaders embark on new building initiatives to improve performance. The Branding initiative can lead to cooperative relations in schools. Branding is about trust. Educators forge the school brand to communicate the school’s identity. The mere process opens up the possibility for a strong base of social trust to be built among teachers, between teachers and parents, between teachers and administrators, and between teachers and students. A perfect ground for building a satisfactory environment for high performance exists through talking about the brand.

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