Education

NEGOTIATING THE ROCKY ROAD

Rohit Manglik
NEGOTIATING THE ROCKY ROAD

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, sign, term, symbol or a combination of these entities intending to provide distinction to the services and goods of one seller or group of sellers than those of their competitors.” Of late, the education sector has begun to understand and recognise the value of branding. However, it is a well-recognised fact that the journey to effective branding, marketing and communication in the education sector is not a smooth run.

The Million Dollar Question of Perception: To begin with branding, marketing or communicating your intent of promoting your institute to the society, these all revolve around the question asking, “How does society, particularly students and their parents, perceive your initiative?” Whether your alumni (only if you have passed out a few of your batches) take you as welcoming, non-intimidating, flexible, alternative, supportive, or underrated, non-progressive, outdated, challenging, and a total waste of their resources? These are some of the factors that will decide your reputation, primarily. Hence, count this factor very first in the slew of confrontations you may face against marketing/branding of your venture.

Unless you take care of people’s perspective, you will be taking a shot in the dark, not knowing exactly which of your promotional measure(s) will work! This will make your efforts of branding/marketing vulnerable to your generalisations and speculations. Consequently, these speculations may brand you as ‘unappealing’ or ‘bland.’ What’s more, your initiative will very likely fall prey to the more robustly and strategically planned initiatives of your competitors.

Getting Familiar with your Audience’s Preferences: Since students and their parents are your primary target audience, it is important to take into account their preferences and aspirations. It is important so that the core vision of your enterprise fully reflects the aspirations and goals of your audience. Once this is achieved, there are no breaks and stops in your achieving the goal of your audience developing trust and loyalty for your institute. A punchline as “Our Students are our Yardstick” may reflect parents’ and students’ educational aspiration, for example. Furthermore, you can also strive for posting exemplary stories and interviews of students regularly on the website of your undertaking. This will go really far in earning you trust and loyalty of students and parents.

The Need to Ensure Consistency in Branding in All your Channels of Marketing:Various marketing and branding channels demand a consistent messaging. There must be a uniformity in the exhibitions of the images, logos, the quality of the videos and even in the slogans of your business. This is extremely crucial if you want to develop a sense of familiarity, dependability, and trust among your audience. To overcome inconsistency, it is highly recommended that you develop a sort of guide or handbook entailing guidelines regarding the styling and making of your images, logos, the colours and fonts used in them, their positioning, the designing of your website’s headers and footers.

g trust and loyalty for your institute. A punchline as “Our Students are our Yardstick” may reflect parents’ and students’ educational aspiration, for example. Furthermore, you can also strive for posting exemplary stories and interviews of students regularly on the website of your undertaking. This will go really far in earning you trust and loyalty of students and parents. The Need to Ensure Consistency in Branding in All your Channels of Marketing:Various marketing and branding channels demand a consistent messaging. There must be a uniformity in the exhibitions of the images, logos, the quality of the videos and even in the slogans of your business. This is extremely crucial if you want to develop a sense of familiarity, dependability, and trust among your audience. To overcome inconsistency, it is highly recommended that you develop a sort of guide or handbook entailing guidelines regarding the styling and making of your images, logos, the colours and fonts used in them, their positioning, the designing of your website’s headers and footers. Do History and Community Make Inroads into your Branding? It really produces an impact when your enterprise partakes in community-programs and other such philanthropic endeavours. This is noteworthy as students and parents consider the enterprise’s longevity and its charitable measures during its lifetime. Parents prefer institutions having a record of at least 50 years when considering the credibility issues of the college(s). This is simply because the longer the institute runs, its reliability earns its pursuers in the same or even amplified proportion. Moreover, this generous value must reflect through your website and other media of communication. For this, again, you need to pay attention to the fonts used- their size, style, and colour definitely hold importance.

definitely hold importance. Learn from your Competitors: It is really is quite a learning experience when you see what others of your ilk are striving and innovating. Note the nuances and the transformations that your competitors are taking the support of. While one of them may highlight their students’ success as their benchmark, the other can weave community programmes into its communication with its audience. Similarly, some other college may hold a pool recruitment drive for its students to beagle its prospective customers/pursuers.

Hence the key to branding and marketing educational institutions and companies is to identify your target audience carefully and be consistent in messaging. Education can make a huge impact on people’s lives, and your marketing should aptly reflect this.

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