If you pull it apart, your brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that makes a customer want to choose you over another. Quite simply, it lets people see what is different about your business and what makes you unique. But, no matter how unique or brilliant your services, how do you get your pre-school brand to stand out among the crowd when you are in a cluttered market place?
1.Your Brand Promise
Your brand promise tells the world about your purpose. It is not a slogan or marketing tagline. It articulates an idea that goes beyond the obvious benefits of your services and forges a deep emotional connection with your customer based on some value they deeply care about. It could be rooted in emotionally based - personal, societal or ecological outcomes - something as simple as your commitment towards maintaining a sustainable or eco-friendly setting.
However, make sure it is genuine and truly evocative of what your organisation is all about. Any mismatch between what you say and what you deliver will be easily picked up by the parents and will hurt you in the long run.
For instance, many pre-schools who take children out for the odd outdoor learning session or woodland walk are now brazenly wielding the 'forest school' brand - when their ethos can’t be farther away from what forest schools are all about. Make sure you don’t feel pressured to fit a mould just because it seems to be working for others (and it looks good on your website!).
Think carefully about one aspect of your service that truly matters to your customers and truly differentiates you from your competition. And remember to keep the message simple, credible and memorable – and most importantly, one you believe you can deliver consistently.
2. Your Tagline
Your tagline is a short, memorable statement that sums up your brand promise and resonates with your customers. The mantra here is simple, memorable and true - something along the lines of Apple’s 'Think Different’, for example.
3. Visual Identity
A brand's visual identity is almost always equated to its brand logo. Although a distinctive, well-crafted logo is definitely one of those elements that your brand will always be remembered by, don’t forget to pay equal attention to the complementary aspects of typography, colour and layout.
Make sure you choose a typeface and colour palette that is in alignment with how you aim to position yourself in the market. For instance, if you are looking at showcasing the fun-side of your pre-school, think cutesy and playful with bold, attention-grabbing colours.
But if your aim is to position yourself as an upmarket nursery - one that would appeal to affluent parents who are willing to pay a premium price for nursery services - the typical nursery logo styling and primary colour lettering are a big no-no. Think muted colours and a more subtle, grown-up style that exudes finesse and sophistication. The Magnetic Ideas branding for Snug Pre-schools is a brilliant example.
4. Your Differentiators
What sets you apart from the rest of the crowd? Your educational philosophy, location, facilities? Have you highlighted your differentiators and made them a key part of your branding message? Make sure you communicate them clearly through your website (if you have one), social media platforms and off-line marketing material.
5. Your Brand Story
If done right, your brand story is one of the most powerful elements that can bring your brand to life. Make sure you dust out the story behind your brand and sum up what sets you apart. And most of all, don't forget to complement your story with the all-important testimonials from your customers about what their experience has been about your service...and of course, leave your business to do the most important bit of walking the talk.
If you are re-thinking your pre-school branding strategy, find out how Cheqdin can help you provide a superior brand experience with our Free Parent App, Online Enrolment, Bookings & Payment Solutions.
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