Your brand should be your school's best friend, telling the world what your values are, inspiring students and staff, being a symbol of excellence and welcoming the surrounding community. What do you do, however, if your brand isn't living up to these high expectations and is in fact looking a little sorry for itself? Well, the good news is that it's not as daunting as you might think to get your brand strong and working for you. To start you off here are six simple ways to get your brand to become the friend you deserve:
1. Get yourself a good quality version of your logo
As a designer I come across a lot of schools who don't have a good quality copy of their own logo as the original version has been lost over the years. Maybe your logo has been recreated by a number of third party suppliers for uniforms, signs, letterhead, etc. so now you have five slightly different versions? Maybe the only copy you have of your logo is a scanned in version from your old letterhead which is now saved as a Word document? If this is the case for your school then I would strongly recommend commissioning a designer to redraw your logo. You might even want to consider getting a completely new logo but if you're not sure then check out our previous blog Your School Needs a New Logo - The Five Warning Signs.
Once you have your high quality logo make sure this is the one that is used everywhere. It will make your brand smile.
2. Choose a Brand Champion
Pick a member of staff who is going to be your Brand Champion. This might be Suzy in marketing, Brad who used to work in branding or Cath who just really gets the school's identity. They can then ensure everyone is using the correct logo and that it's used consistently everywhere. A Brand Champion will help your school to have a more consistent identity and make working with third party suppliers easier. Good work Cath!
3. Pick a design agency
Pick us! Here at FSE Design we can work with you to develop a brand for your school that will help you to communicate to the people that matter. Whether you require a completely new identity or you would like to enhance an existing one our expertise will help you to create a unified style that can be used throughout your prospectus, website, school signage, displays and other marketing collateral.
4. Be consistent
You need to be consistent with not only your message but also your production quality. For example, if you normally professionally print and design your letterhead you shouldn't be tempted to produce a quick in-house version as it's going to jump out from what's gone before and potentially weaken your brand. The more you look after your brand the stronger it will become and the more it will look after you.
5. Get your brand inside and out
It's important that your brand is carried throughout the whole school and not just on your prospectus or website. From external signage to guide visitors, to acrylic displays in your hallways and photoboards in reception – these can all have a hugely positive impact on both staff and students.
6. Remember your brand is your friend
Call it Sid. Well, maybe not... but once you have perfected your brand it will stay and work hard for you for many years. It will help you with whatever project you're working on whether it's a starting place for a new prospectus, a catalyst for a community project or making your Twitter feed look slick. Ultimately a good brand will help attract new students, give them a sense of belonging and let everyone in the community know who your school is and what you stand for. What a good friend to have.
To help make friends with your brand why not contact us and we'll get you both working together.