Who Creates Your Brand?

An organization’s brand is what it does or produces that is unique, meaningful, tangible, and valuable.  The value must be durable.  For a school, that means providing services that make a meaningful, measurable, and durable change in students’ lives while fulfilling the promise of the mission statement.  To be unique, the change must be something beyond academic achievement.

When the board establishes the mission statement, it defines the parochial school’s brand.  It is the staff’s responsibility to provide the services that make the brand relevant, meaningful, tangible, and valuable.

While every staff member plays a part in bringing the brand to life, those who work with the students and parents have the most important role.  They have the primary responsibility for helping students achieve results and for changing the students’ lives (outcomes).  In our social world, student experience matters as much as results and outcomes.  Your faculty and administration are the ones who are most likely to influence student experience and student engagement.

Engaged Students – Generally, engaged students work harder and achieve more.  They are usually the students with the best stories (anecdotes) and best results and outcomes.  Their relationship with your school increases the probability that they and their parents will provide the social buzz every school wants.

Results and Outcomes – The results and outcomes create the anecdotes and statistics necessary to convince donors and the community to provide support.

Social – What students and parents say about their experience is also important.  Current technology makes it easier for everyone to influence everyone.  Good comments from current and past students and parents encourage others to use your services.  The good comments also encourage donors and other supporters to provide support and increase their support.

Most of the time, the staff members with the most student and family contact are the ones who have the most significant impact on the students’ relationship with your school and the results and outcomes your students achieve.  They are the staff members who have the best opportunity to build your brand.

Many times when a Parochial school’s brand is perceived as weak by its community, it is because the staff members who can do the most are unaware of how much they need to do.  They are dutifully focused on the tasks at hand.  Often, those tasks create an efficient operation.  At other times, the staff members are unaware of what they can do, while doing their normal work, to enhance the students experience, results, and outcomes.  In either case, they see the task at hand as more important than building the brand (engaging students, focusing on results, and giving the students a unique and valuable experience).

Your student-serving staff members are the ones who are primarily responsible for translating the promises of your mission statement into the public’s understanding of the value of your brand.  Their success determines the strength of your brand and contributes to your school’s sustainability.

Next Step:

Revisit your school’s mission statement and ensure it creates a brand that your community needs, understands, and wants

Train your staff members, especially those involved directly with students, to be great brand developers and ambassadors

Monitor student engagement, results, outcomes, and the social postings about your school, its services, its mission, and student service experience

Since branding is often talked about as an element of marketing, it is easy for everyone to think that managing the brand is the marketing department’s responsibility.  However, marketing is limited.  It can only present the results, outcomes, and anecdotes.  The rest of the staff must create the results, outcomes, and anecdotes while engaging the students.

Your brand is what your staff and students make it.

Take It Further:

Audit your community’s perception of your brand’s value annually


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