Here’s a mind-boggling fact I want you to contemplate before reading the rest of this blog – 63% of consumers say they have engaged with negative brand content, with a staggering 23% of these people saying they will never read that brand’s content again!
That’s pretty scary and highlights how important it is to deliver consistent brand messages. But don’t let this stop you from getting your content out there. You just need to implement brand guardianship, a marketing communications strategy that can help ensure a strong brand identity in an increasingly fractured digital market.
Brand guardianship in theory
So just what is brand guardianship? Brand guardianship is all about ensuring consistency in your message. It’s about defining what your brand is and upholding all the elements that make up who you are. Your school's name, logo, slogan, colours and even your font type all make up your school’s visual identity.
Even the way you speak, the language you use, and the messages you send identify who you are as a school and contribute to your marketing communications strategy. Your school’s brand identity is what sets you apart from your competitors, and when applied consistently it results in brand loyalty – so you better be protecting it.
Why brand guardianship matters
But why is brand guardianship important in the digital realm? Well, your online presence is more important than ever before. With the shift in the way potential parents search for content, as well as how they engage with schools through online communications and social media, you need to ensure that what you’re saying in the digital world matches your school’s promises in the physical world. If you’re writing a blog, updating your website or crafting a witty social media post you need to ensure each message is in-line with your brand’s key messages and positioning.
Not only does a clear brand identity lead to loyalty, consistently applying your brand elements also saves time and money. With so many channels to communicate through these days, having clearly defined rules around your visual identity and brand means you’re not starting from scratch each time. Plus, you’ve also spent time and money to develop your school’s logo and slogan, so you might as well be using them!
Brand guardianship in practice
So you know managing your brand’s identity and message is important, but how do you go about implementing a brand guardianship strategy for your school?
It starts with a clearly defined set of guidelines around how you use your brand assets. Most of the time it’s referred to as a style guide – a collection of rules that regulate how the visual identity is used, what font type to use and what the official colours are and how to replicate them.
Within this guide you’ll also cover how the brand communicates – the language used, the key messages to address in each communication, and the school’s positioning statement. All these elements need to be considered when crafting written communication.
You’ll also likely want everyone in your organisation to be aware of these rules, and perhaps even delegate someone as the brand guardian, someone who will ensure that these rules are strictly adhered to in every message across every channel.
Protecting your school’s brand integrity, identity and message may seem like a daunting task but you’d be surprised how much simply writing down a set of rules can help. Take some time to figure this out, get some outside help if needed, because the long term benefits of brand loyalty and parent engagement are too large to ignore.
This blog was written by Brock Ashton
When he isn't writing blogs or providing marketing communications support to clients, Brock spends his time reading fiction novels or chasing oval shaped footballs around a paddock. You may occasionally find him in your local Japanese restaurant, fuelling his passion for unique cuisine and culture.