Schools and Colleges I talk to often are working with/ or have worked with some Social Media Company, Digital Marketing Agency or some Freelance Graphic Designer who post on Facebook and Instagram. Once they have worked with them for a few months, they realize it’s not really helping and end up hiring a full time graphic designer on payroll and work with that. After which, they just don’t look at the results. They are happy to have an active Facebook page and someone who can make a few Flyers and Billboards whenever the need be at break neck speed.
I am sure you too, have faced this. Most Schools never bother to think, what went wrong. They blame it on the company they worked with and end up saying, Digital Marketing doesn’t work or they got stuck with a bad company. I think both these statements are incomplete. Digital Marketing, without research, insight, design and correct marketing communication does not work just like any other form of marketing. You got stuck with a bad digital marketing company because your communication to the agency was, “I need 3 posts per week on Facebook and website design.” as opposed to “I am looking to establish an irresistible School Brand that parents crave to get children enrolled to.”
So how do you tackle this problem? Well, you have to start with making a Brand Manual. A Brand Manual standardizes communication, font, colours and other variables. This Brand Manual is not arbitrarily developed. This is made post your initial market research. Research on how should the school be positioned, what the key facilities or factors parents look at in a school for their child are, and so on. As a parent as well as a business owner, you may think that you don’t need additional market intelligence or advice on branding, since you are already getting them aplenty from friends and acquaintances. But if there are numerous firms which are benefiting from such market research and branding exercises, there has to be some merit in these, don’t you think?
This research actually forms the basis of the name and positioning line. Going further into building campaigns and messages. Educational Institutions do not need to recreate the wheel. They just have to learn from other sectors. Schools no longer can function without these basics. They do not have the luxury of time to build a culture over the years which people come to love and respect. It needs to be done fast, for you to remain competitive. The only way to do it fast and right is to do it systematically.
At IOSIGNITE, we rarely work on a single deliverable project but recently we onboarded a client. We designed a brochure and flyer, without any guidelines or any research. The results when work is done like this are seldom good. As an Agency Owner I literally had to beg my strategy and creative team to work on the project. I am sharing a few with you (Some are rejected designs), followed by some sample pages of a Brand Manual. Even though we went ahead and did this work, we made sure that the client does not print extra copies for next year admission year. We are now working on their new Brand Manual and are excited to implement it as soon as 2019 admissions are over.
Target Audience: Simple & Traditional
This design speaks to parents at an emotional level. It establishes trust in the school and reiterates the face that Ganges is a second home.
Design By: Oyshi Mukherjee
Copy By: Kisholoy Mukerjee
Target Audience: Evolved
This indirect approach will appeal to parents who realize that traditional learning will no longer help in futuristic careers. Success in the future will not come to those sticking to the norms, but to those who question and explore.
Design by: Upal Roychoudhary
Copy By: Kisholoy Mukherjee
Target Audience: Unevolved/ Simple
This route takes a direct approach, establishes the school as a place for game changers in the broadest of sense. By showcasing activities most schools don’t offer, we validate the thought in parents’ mind.
Design By: Upal Roychoudhary
Copy By: Kisholoy Mukherjee
Below pictures are from the first draft of MM School, Raipur’s brand Manual. This manual once completed forms the basis of the campaign. It helps designers, marketers and school administration to collaborate and brainstorm while sticking to the guidelines. The long term benefit of creating a document like this is that whether people come or go and whether you work with a top notch agency or a freelancer, the Brand never suffers. All communications in the Brand Manual are done with the help of stock images. A visual look into the mind of the Creative Director of your Brand. Post this a photoshoot, videoshoot, interior beautification, website design and so on and so forth are planned.
Nothing has changed, marketers and advertisers have always followed these basics. They always will in the future. The medium has changed. A Facebook post still needs a Great Headline, which Comes from a seasoned Copywriter. An Instagram image still needs a compelling visual or video, which comes from a Creative/Art Director. There are no shortcuts.
If you want a sample Brand Manual for your School/College mail us at [email protected] and we will mail it to. The Sample manual will contain all the pages and instructions on how a manual is designed. After you have gone through this exercise with whichever agency you work, you will see that life will get easier. Brand Recall will exponentially improve because confusing communication will never reach your audience.
January - 15,2019 | Posted by: Iosignite
October - 2,2018
October - 10,2018