What’s Your School’s Brand?

What does marketing have to do with K-12 schools?
Think about the school you or your family members attend(ed). What are the first images that come to your mind?
 
Usually its the brand of the school.
 
What is the brand?
 
The colors, school mascot, symbol, school song, anything the school uses enabling people to easily recognize the school.
From small town schools, the local high school, to Ivy League schools, known the world over, branding is important.
 
I’m at the stage where I’m creating our brand. Considering mission, vision, colors, images etc…, every step of the way, I am asking myself and others, what will pop? What will entice the most attention from our target population? What do we want the brand to say about the school.
 
Since I want to start a “Free” school (not monetarily free, as far as I can tell, there are no monetarily free schools, but instead, a free thinking school), I wanted to wait until I had a student population so the students could decide on the school brand.
 
I like the idea of students being involved with the school brand, BUT I need to do the branding BEFOREHAND so I can gain a student population. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for students to help with the branding of future programs and curriculum that are student driven.
In the meantime, I need to spend some serious time on the branding, and I’m not sure what direction my blog will go in because branding is such a “hush, hush” process. I’ve learned about protecting my intellectual property from SCORE workshops, and as much as I just want to put everything out there, I have to be careful I’m not shooting myself in the foot.
And so, I will share with you as much as my comfort level will allow and continue to refine what fits well. I’m working with a team of people, which is always best, and of course I’m getting the opinions of friends and family, but they are not necessarily my target population, so I have to take that into consideration as well.
I’m learning there is so much more than I ever imagined to opening a school. Grand ideas still need logistical attention as well as creative attention, both to a much larger scheme than I ever imagined.

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