The 6 Steps to Branding Your School, with Jennie Winton
"You do not build your brand on features (Montessori, project-based learning, Christian, etc.) because anybody can copy a feature; your brand is a bigger, higher-order ideal." - Jennie Winton
Our guest today is Jennie Winton. She is the co-founder of Mission Minded - a branding firm established in 2002 to work exclusively with nonprofit organizations. Mission Minded helps nonprofit organizations to discover the “big, bold idea” that distinguishes them from everything else that is out there, in order to attract more people to their work. Jennie shares her branding and marketing expertise in lectures and with clients throughout the nation.
Today in our podcast, Jennie turns her branding genius towards the topic of school growth and takes us through the steps that any school can use to establish their own unique brand.
Listen and take note of how “brand” is different from “benefits and features”, and think about how to apply the 6 Steps to Branding Your School.
In our discussion, we cover:
5:30 Jennie responds to Andrew’s observation that most schools have the exact same wording on their homepage about what they offer.
6:12 Jennie defines “brand” as “your reputation” and distinguishes between a school’s “mission” and their “brand”.
7:30 Jennie responds to Andrew’s question about how a school can change its reputation.
10:00 Andrew asks Jennie to expand on the idea of “right fit families”.
14:00 Andrew asks Jennie to give examples of schools that stand out as having an exceptionally strong, unique message.
19:50 Jennie shares the 6 Steps to Branding Your School.
24:50 Andrew asks what a school should do when they find competitive schools popping up with the same message that they are offering.
30:48 Jennie expands on the notion of signaling the community through the message that is going out from inside the school: staff, teachers, and families.
32:00 Jennie shares a lovely story of a client who wondered when or if he would know that the branding exercise had been effective.
38:15 Jennie gives closing advice on not becoming so overwhelmed with the idea of ‘branding’ that you fail to take action.
6:12 “Your brand is your reputation; the question is - is this the reputation that our school will need in the future to achieve all of our goals?”
11:20 “Focusing on the families who fit with your culture is strengthening to your school over time; they will choose you for the right reasons.”
26:20 “You do not build your brand on features (Montessori, project-based learning, Christian, etc.) because anybody can copy a feature; your brand is a bigger, higher-order ideal.”
30:48 “When you have a strong brand, your parents and students will be so proud to affiliate with it; they will become evangelists for you.”
37:00 “A school will not succeed in rebranding if the promise is not authentically something that the school is delivering.”
Where to learn more about Jennie Winton:
Mission Minded: https://mission-minded.com
Jennie on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennie-winton-08b4444/
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/