There are a few key red flags which may suggest that your brand is “broken” and that you might need to consider a revisit and a refresh.
Here’s a quick guide to school branding and some things to consider:
Your school logo
- Do you have a few different variations of your school logo which are used across your school uniform, signage, website and stationery? Inconsistency can undermine the professional approach your school must follow and portray.
- Has your school logo become inappropriate for your school? Perhaps it’s old or simply doesn’t fit with your strategic future for your school. Either way, your school logo must accurately reflect your school, its values and where your school is headed.
- Does the design of your school logo compare unfavourably against other local schools? With competition for pupil places increasingly tough and the obvious funding implications of not reaching 100% intake capacity, its imperative your school logo and branding is up to the task.
Your literature and collateral
- Is your marketing collateral ineffective at clearly communicating the values and strengths of your school? A professionally designed school prospectus has become of paramount importance, alongside considered and coherent marketing material that helps sell your school to your key audience groups.
- Are you a little bit embarrassed by your stationery? Unprofessional or poorly designed stationery reflects poorly on your school, creating a negative impression.
- Is there an overall lack of consistency in your printed material? Perhaps logos are stretched, use of colour is inconsistent, or what’s seen in one year group is vastly different to another? Setting some basic templates alongside standardising the use of logos and colours can ensure a visual consistency for all documents.
- Are you proud of your school signage? Whether it’s the road front or directional signage, the design of your school signage should be uncluttered and considered, so it does its job effectively.
Your school website
- Is your school website over 3 years old? If so, it’s worth completing a review of how the site is built to check its consistent with latest design style and software advances.
- Is your website difficult to use on smartphones? With over 50% of visits to websites now done via smartphones, it’s essential your school website is dynamically designed to deliver a mobile-friendly version suitable for all users.
- Is your school website a burden to your school office team? From helping to reduce telephone queries to being quick to update, your school website should help free up rather than tie up your staff’s time.
- Are your staff proud to work at your school? Are they aligned with the SMT’s vision for, and the values of, your school? Your brand is an important part of the overall perception of your school and your staff should be positive ambassadors for you.
- Do you have difficulty attracting or retaining the right staff? By looking after your school’s brand you’ll create a positive environment, where your school’s values form the foundations for everything you do. As a result your staff’s bond with the school should strengthen and be evident to prospective new staff members.
Does your school suffer from a perception problem?
- Do you struggle to communicate your values, strengths and points of difference? By evaluating your school branding you’ll be a lot clearer on just what your school offers and why it does what it does.
- Do you have difficulty gaining large numbers of first preference choices? Do you attract families from outside your traditional catchment area? Your school’s brand can create an accurate, positive first impression that can elevate your school ahead of others.
- Are you confident that leavers and their families talk positively about their experience of your school? By setting appropriate expectations and then exceeding them, you can be sure word of mouth across your local community is positive.
Have you answered yes to any of these questions? If you have encountered any of these red flags, you may need to consider fixing them.