Define, Lead, and Uphold Your School's BrandPosted on Mar 19, 2018 8:01:44 AM
What makes us admire one brand over another? Could it be because of what we were exposed to growing up? Our perception based off a company’s reputation, business objectives, involvement with the community, service, or authenticity? Our experiences, perceptions, and values feed into this connection, which can ultimately lead to the type of culture and brand we strive to create for our organization.What about branding in public education? Let’s explore how school administrators define, lead and uphold their school's brand.
Defining Your Brand
To define a brand, we must first ask, “What are our values, goals, and priorities?” Once we identify the message are we trying to convey, we must understand what those implications mean for our stakeholders.
“A definition of a school district brand.....a simple, catchy, and important message about your district to help your stakeholders better understand one main thing about your district.”
“A brand is a reason to choose”
"Brand" is essentially other's perceptions of an organization or entity and we know perception is everything. Some people would call it your reputation.”
Leading Your Brand
To successfully defend and lead a brand, we need to tap into experiences and leverage team support to understand how we can turn opponents into proponents for our organization. This ultimately becomes part of our strategic plan.
“Remain focused on the true "objective" of the organization”
“Treating others with respect and compassion are essential, for both groups, at all times.”
“Truly listening to others’ points of view and working to better understand where they are coming from pays dividends.”
Upholding Your Brand
Defining and defending a brand are important elements in moving an organization forward. However, without direct action and understanding of the variables involved, the strategies in place may not evolve. Therefore, it is critical to develop a plan that leverages resources and is focused on transparency in order to truly model the brand your trying to create and support.
“Need to be emotionally connected.”
“Three things...Find Your Audience, Build Your Brand, Celebrate Kids.”
“Don’t get stuck on being tied into one medium, get into a number of different spaces to tell the story of your school”
“When representing your brand, ask yourself these questions:”
Do I believe what this person is saying?
Is the message consistent with what I believe about this organization?
Does the message match up with the brand?
Take the time to collaborate with your organization and determine how you want to define your brand, how you will lead your brand to a high level of performance, and how you will uphold your brand against adversity. By establishing these positive elements, the focus and conversation may shift to enhance your areas of excellence.
Iowa Association of School Boards. Lisa Bartusek, Executive Director
Nora Ferguson is a Marketing Specialist at Forecast5 Analytics in Naperville, IL. Nora is focused on creating and developing acquisition programs to drive growth and brand awareness. Prior to this role, she was a Community Management Specialist and focused her time on managing Forecast5's social collaboration platform, 5Share. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Small Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration from North Central College.