You wonder if a language school can be a brand? Certainly yes, if you constantly build its awareness and create the desirable image. This is a time-consuming, but profitable direction. Just think about it – would you buy a product from a store you have never heard of or from the one with that funny pet in the logo? Exactly… Today we will offer a clue on what you can do to make your language school recognizable.
Just like you will go to a store you knew before, your student will more eagerly sign for classes in a school they recognise and associate positive emotions with. A brand is not only a product, but one of a kind story you can freely create. To win faithful customers, you need to undertake marketing activities that make your language school to stand out against the competition.
How to build the strategy?
First, you have to think about your target group. The image of the language school should reflect the needs of your recipients.
To initiate actions for the benefit of reinforcing the brand image, you should develop the Brand Book, being a guide to visual communication with customers or business partners. What does such a book contain? It usually consists of three parts:
1.Presentation of the company – in the beginning write about what you are concerned with, what your goals are, what vision and mission guide your activities. The idea is that you should understand what your school is like and where it aims.
2.Visual identification – in this part you wil design:
the typography (characteristic fonts),
the logo (or the brand’s mark),
the claim (the brand’s slogan).
Remember to include also the rules governing the use of given elements and how they should not be used. See more in the article: Visual identification of a language school.
3.History of usage – enter here practical ways of the usage of visual identification, or what media you have used so far and what communication techniques you have used (e.g. Internet, leaflets).
It is most important for all elements of the strategy to be coherent with each other. If your logo is green, then you should not design business cards in rose. This is of course an exaggerated example, but it does stress how we can be perceived by customers.
Visualisation is not the only thing we should attach attention to. It is extremely important what your brand says and how it behaves. Remember that each sent e-mail, website, or even messages in social media should have coherent communication.
Do you have your own brand hero?
A contemporary customer is flooded with loads of advertisements of products and services, and for that reason it is difficult to stand out in the marketplace. Brand hero comes to the rescue. This is nothing more than the brand’s mascot, a hero being your living showcase. A customer buying a book usually looks at its review on the back cover without reading the entirety. What will you do to make a potential student choose your language school? Offer to them something more that the product – namely emotions.
Brand’s values and personality should be reflected in the created character. What features shall it have, what attributes, where and with whom it will show up? This all depends on what story you want to convey and what emotions you would like to arouse in your recipients. The hero of your language school can be an animal, human or an abstract character, and imagination is the sole limit.
An example can be the SJOk DRAGON, called for a good reason a friend of the Department of Foreign Languages in Mińsk Mazowiecki. SJOk DRAGON accompanies the youngest students during classes and picnics, he is nice and funny, and – what matters most – its colour code is coherent with school’s website or logo.
A very friendly brand hero is Strefek, which found its home in the Language Zone. The creature appears at every step, it advertises Facebook events and arouses positive associations with the school and has the matching colour code. Strefek is very popular, it has even its own fanpage at the Facebook and a website. His hobbies include “language learning, playing with children, games, dancing and jumping”, which is certainly connected with children’s education.
The Palms language school also has its own mascot. Akiki (meaning a “friend” in Malagasy language) and matches the full picture of the image identification of the school: name, corporate identity, references to Madagascar roots, pro bono activities and the entire proprietary programme. The lemur helps children in English language learning and additionally gives a lot of joy. Akiki also has its family and exists in the form of a hand-made mascot, which children know from classes.
Or perhaps this is the time for rebranding?
If you noticed a decline in the value of your brand, a new rival emerged, for a long time you have not had new students or you target the offer at a new group of customers, the time has come for changes. For rebranding or renewal of the image, modification of all elements identifying the language school. This certainly entails a change of the entire marketing strategy, and therefore this is a time-consuming and costly process.
Lingua Viva language school decided to perform a rebranding a few years ago. This concerned adjustment to current market requirements; this is why the logo was changed, a new website and new promotional materials were created – everything under vigilant eyes of teachers, randomly selected customers and the owner. The refreshed image met with good reception.
Why would you build a positive image?
Already the first thought should convince you. A powerful brand translates into sale volume. Not only you stand out in the marketplace, create an advantage over the competition, increase the school’s financial value, but you also gain new customers.Why? Because you are the guarantor of top quality, excellent services, best teachers and 100% effectiveness. A student coming to a course in your school, identifies with it, joins a certain group and feels connected with its values.
Make sure they always think about your school in positive terms.
Do you have your favourite brand heroes? 🙂