Branding is more than recognition; it is perception. A strong brand is the reason we can describe the experience of a Unicorn Frappucino at Starbucks, beyond the mechanics of a simple purchase. Creating awareness for what you’re offering is the first step towards brand recognition, but an enhanced brand means that there is a distinct experience and consistent message, which builds trust between you and your clients. The colors of your Unicorn Frappuccino might change, but you pretty much know what your experience is going to be.
It all starts with a message. That message might vary in tone between Instagram and LinkedIn, but it is the same message. When that message is clear, positioning your programs/institution effectively will be more organic. However, and let's be honest here, that message might sometimes need a polish. Much has been made of the pivot in startups with reference to products, services and strategies, but it's just as likely that the messaging itself, will need a good shake. How many businesses start out stiff and formal, thinking that's the way to establish credibility, and find out some years down the line that letting the brand persona shine through is really what drives engagement with the markets you want to reach? Brand enhancement is stepping up your messaging, getting clear on what you want that perception of your brand to be, and ensuring that it comes through on all channels.
Education is an emotional business. Marketing gurus have to work overtime to make going for a simple Iced coffee feel emotional, but education has that built in. Trust and credibility are enormously important, but students are also looking for an experience. Undertaking a program of study is a watershed moment. For some it may be the first experience of living away from home; for others perhaps a sea change in their career. Whichever way you spin it, there is no room for stock photos and robotic text. That first impression can include everything from colors and visuals to the logo, and that's before they have delved into the testimonials and 360-degree virtual campus tour. Paying close attention to these details makes sure that every single element is singing from the same hymn sheet. A false note will always stand out.
Branding enhancement can give your institution the missing piece; an identity that students can relate to and can trust. Having innovative marketing campaigns and a clear branding strategy will help you build long term relationships. It doesn't happen overnight, but that consistent and crystal clear brand can be the bedrock for innovative use of promotional channels, social media and blogs to make sure the perception of your institution stands out from the noise.
A strong brand invites a closer look
Channels like social media, website, brochures etc are rarely created by institutions all at the same time. They are usually the work of many people over a period of time, and the bird's eye perspective is not always retained through this gradual evolution of content.
NEO offers the outside perspective: a chance to step back and really look at your message everywhere it is communicated. After a detailed consultation, we get to work on the website as the primary face of your brand. We look at the visual and textual messages, ensuring there is an authentic tone. Together we can take the core of what makes your institution stand out, and help make sure that prospective students and partners can decode that experience in relatable terms and truly engage with what you have to offer. Beyond the website, from social media to marketing campaigns of all stripes, NEO can be by your side to see the process through, supporting your team to take ownership of the new and vibrant brand image that was always waiting to take center stage.