Pushing Schools to the Edge of the Creative Cliff, with Miles Latham
“Independent schools are ‘high-brand’ propositions. We are dealing with huge amounts of money for the most emotionally important assets that a family has - and that is their children.” - Miles Latham
Our guest today is Miles Latham. He is Managing Partner at Affixxius Films - an in-house bespoke commercial film company with an innovative and unique approach to providing breathtaking videos for public and private sector companies and organizations. In particular, the videos that Affixxius Films has produced for schools put a finger on the distinctive story that sets that school apart in the marketplace. In the research phase of their process, Affixxius is known for provoking schools to push them in surprising directions that “reveal what the school deems unquestionable.”
In this episode, Miles shares how schools owe it to their students to take a stand for their brand, and details how his company strives to tell a story for each client that will resonate with the deepest feelings that parents have about their children.
If you are thinking about what makes your school unique, this is a conversation that you should not miss.
In our discussion, we cover:
1:30 Andrew asks Miles, “How did you start making these videos for schools?”
3:33 Miles describes the shift in their marketing strategy away from sharing homogenous benefits and towards a storytelling approach.
8:40 Miles responds to Andrew’s question, “How did you get so good at storytelling?”
13:00 Miles discusses the system that they use for making films.
20:00 Andrew asks, “You have a knack for picking your customers. Is there a secret to how you choose clients?”
23:53 Miles tell about what he thinks marketing should be and what it should not be
32:50 Andrew and Miles discuss how to get past the cliche answers to find the essence of what a client really represents.
40:00 Andrew relates that some schools might not feel that they stand out in any particular way and asks Miles, “How can those schools become more unique in the way they present themselves?”
48:18 Miles talks a bit about where he fins his inspiration.
6:25 “Independent schools are ‘high-brand’ propositions. We are dealing with huge amounts of money for the most emotionally important assets that a family has - and that is their children.”
7:00 “For us, that’s where film is at its best - it’s an emotional buy-in. We have to make people feel something.”
8:15 “As soon as we started to say less in a more emotionally powerful way, that’s when schools started to see results.”
9:50 “It’s the human qualities that make a school special.”
19:10 “Quite often, the creative process that we go through will fundamentally change the way a school markets itself or thinks about itself as a result of our research.”
23:40 “We are ultimately interested in telling interesting stories.”
25:35 “We are obliged to treat the marketing of these organizations incredibly seriously because of the level of trust that we are asking people to embed in the school.”
26:40 “I think a school’s marketing is fundamentally a 2-fold proposition: on one level, it is acutely emotional...and on the other side of the coin, it is acutely practical.”
28:00 “Schools are gold mines of storytelling about phenomenal young people who are doing phenomenal things.”
30:00 “The first thing I ask is: What does the school stand for?”
32:20 “The clarity and efficacy with which we tell these stories has never been more critical.”
37:05 “School marketing needs to react to what is going on around it and not be so insular and so microcosmic.”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
Christ School - a private, Episcopal college preparatory boarding and day school for boys in Asheville, N.C. - https://www.christschool.org
Inter-Community School Zurich, Switzerland - a private, independent, international, co-ed day school - https://www.icsz.ch/
Dan Carlin Hard Core History: the Wrath of the Khans https://www.dancarlin.com/hardcore-history-series/
Where to learn more about Miles Latham:
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter - https://twitter.com/milesaffixxius
Miles on Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/in/miles-latham-7531a427
Affixxius Films http://www.affixxius.com
Affixxius Films on Linkedin https://uk.linkedin.com/company/affixxius-productions
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/