In today’s competitive education landscape, it is more important than ever for K-12 schools and districts to have a strong brand and culture.
Building a strong brand platform ensures that all aspects of your school or district’s brand, from your visual identity to your messaging, are consistent with your core values and mission. It sends stakeholders a clear and consistent message about what you stand for and your value proposition.
Establishing a strong culture ensures that the way your school or district operates is consistent with your core values. It creates an environment where students, teachers, and staff feel supported, valued, and motivated to do their best work.
Aligning a strong brand with a strong culture is important for K-12 organizations for many reasons.
1. It conveys that your organization is a place where students, teachers, and staff thrive. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that employees who work in a company with a strong brand culture are more likely to be engaged. The study found that the engagement rate for employees in companies with a strong brand culture was 71 percent, compared to 57 percent for employees with a weak brand culture.
2. It creates a sense of pride and belonging among your community members. This can lead to increased community support for the organization, which can impact fundraising, volunteerism, and other areas.
3. It increases academic achievement. A National Association of Secondary School Principals study found that schools with a strong brand and culture have higher student achievement scores, including 10-point higher average math and reading scores. Harvard’s Graduate School of Education also found that the dropout rate for students in schools with a strong brand and culture was 6 percent, compared to 12 percent for students at other institutions.
So, how can you begin to ensure your school or district’s brand and culture are aligned? Here’s a few tips:
1. Begin with a clear understanding of your core values. What do you stand for as a school/school district? What are your most important goals? Once you have a clear understanding of your core values, you can begin to develop a brand and culture that reflects them.
2. Make sure your brand and culture are consistent across all channels. Your brand and culture should come across clearly in your external or internal relations with students, parents, community members, business partners, and employees.
3. Live your brand and culture every day. Your brand and culture are not just something that you put on display. They should be reflected in the way you operate your school or district on a daily basis.
4. Inclusivity is key to brand and culture alignment. Brand and culture alignment is not something that a small group of people can achieve. It requires the buy-in of everyone in the school or district.
Brand and culture alignment is essential for success in today’s competitive education landscape. By taking the steps outlined above, your school or district can create a strong brand and culture to attract and retain students, teachers, and staff; increase community support; and achieve academic excellence.