We completed a rebrand for a Gloucestershire school recently who were experiencing a common problem. They knew school branding matters, but were not absolutely clear on what their school is about.
The know what they do and how they go about it. They’d also identify some elements of their school environment and offering that are different to others in the area. But they were struggling to communicate anything more powerful than that. The reason is they hadn’t identified their why.
We provided the school with a few exercises for the school’s teaching staff to undertake. Following which their ‘why’ became clear.
Here’s a quick guide to why your ‘why’ is so important, especially when you’re focusing on why your school branding matters.
What do you do? What could you do? What do your parents and pupils think you do?
Each is a fairly simple question. And should be relatively straightforward to get to the bottom of. If there’s a strong link between them then you can go some way to knowing how your offering is of perceived value to your key audience groups.
How do you do what you do? How does your school do things differently? How does your school benefit your pupils, parents and local community? How could you improve how you do things?
You can list as many ‘how’ questions here that are relevant. At the heart of them are the essential workings of your school and the beginnings of the benefits your school provides. By focusing both internally and externally with your ‘hows’ you can refine your processes and improve the standards throughout your school.
Why do you do what you do? Why should your stakeholders believe you?
Now these are much more difficult questions to answer. By thinking about your ‘why’ you can start to get to heart of why you’re school is in business. And why your school is actually different to other local schools. That’s where you can start take your school branding to the next level.
You can start to build a promise to your stakeholders that is accurate. You can develop your proposition so it has greater power and resonates more strongly with pupils and parents alike. You can make your school an even better place for staff to work. And you’ll likely identify areas that can help form part of your strategic vision for your school’s direction of travel.
Your why essentially knits everything together. The outcomes and benefits to your staff, pupils, parents, governors and local community are endless.
We’ve been working on the ‘why’ within branding projects for clients for as long as we can remember. One of the most eloquent overviews of the ‘why’ comes from Simon Sinek. He explains people ‘don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it’. Check out his TEDx talk below. It’s worth it.