Friday, January 22, 2010

Three Reasons for School Leaders to Learn from 2009 BRAND Giants

Can schools learn about brand from Ford Motor Company? Can a superintendent be inspired by BIG MAC? Would Domino Pizza have something of value for principals?

These three companies out of the top 100 brands of 2009 can inspire thinking for improved school culture and performance in three ways. Each of these companies saw problems, fixed them, and went on to rising brand recognition and increased value in the market. Something that the old message about Unique Sales Proposition would validate. And it can help a school leader create thinking about positive culture for a winning school.

What did they do?

1. STREAMLINE thinking about pleasing and reaching the clients. These companies put TRUST at the center of their connection to their market. They took marketing, PR and advertising as one mission...not separate jobs, and they were serious about interfacing with the customer, not just overloading them with messages that most people don't listen to! How can a school organization take this on to increase trust?

2. PARTNER with other entities. They seriously looked for strategic alliances in other companies, groups and associations that would shed positive light on their brand. The Golden Arches partnering with PETA and Green Peace? Yup...and it has increased brand value! What alliances can be made in schools that can do the same?

3. OPEN behaviors to the client and community. The world is becoming transparent due to the social networking environment. As scary as it may seem, the brands that were open to showing their processes, involved the clients in discussion, and gave people a reason to care, did better. Your market can sing your praises or dismiss you in a click of a mouse. Making connections in a consistent open way face to face and online can help a brand positively engage with the client. Are your customers buzzing about you? Is it positive?

Developing TRUST is at the root of a winning brand for schools as well as business. It's all about building relationships for a winning school. Give people a reason to believe. Develop and live a winning brand.

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