4 Lessons for A School BrandED Leader in Motion

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The new profile of School BrandED leader that my colleague @E_Sheninger exemplified way back in 2009 inspires and motivates me today. Today, I see BrandED connection with Eric's profile to the work of @david_rogers who helps leaders master growth in a digital age. David Rogers is a notable Columbia University educator, who recently taught a joint Google/Columbia Business School program. Both these these professionals have their act together for leadership.

As I have follow David Rogers' work, I see  a leadership “connective tissue “ from business leaders to educational leaders. In David's  recent article for Forbes magazine this was especially evident. I see the synergy of David and Eric and their paths to creating empowered leaders in different communities that can share powerful leadership strategies. And these different communities can learn together and resource each other.

So, with a nod to David Rogers, let's understand there's a changing role a school educational leader faces in this digital age of higher expectations, and lessons are to be learned.

As I write with Eric on the topic of BrandEd and explore the use of brand and marketing leadership in the school leader community, we advance an idea of a School Chief Brand Officer. Unlike CBO’s in business, this role may even be a collective endeavor, not belonging to one person on a school org chart.

Surveying the landscape of school leadership and the expectations that our school stakeholders bring for a leader’s openness, transparency and customer engagement, I'm drawn to four lessons of my own inspired by David Rogers, lessons that empower Eric and other BrandED leaders.

BrandED Class is in session, Ed Leader!

Lesson 1. The Funnel is Part of our “Non Sales Selling” Engagement. There is a funnel for educational leaders to use as a strategic tool that is different from the marketing term. The top of our funnel is building a brand that we can make our stakeholders aware of everyday. We aren't delivering sales in the funnel, but we must gain loyalty of our stakeholders.

Lesson 2. Content we Develop is King in our BrandEd Campaign. With a  SCBO collective  content can be curated in schools around CULTURE, PERFORMANCE, RESOURCING. Using David Rogers' l marketing lessons we can use storytelling content as we are storytellers who connect to our community through feeling. And let's add content he speaks of as  “utilitarian” as the “This is How to Do It” part of our offer as we show our community the answers that the school provides for info like homework, social topics, safety, behavior etc. Two avenues for content exist and can support the brand messaging in many ways.

Lesson 3. Segmentation Tailors our Message for ROR

Our messages we create from content do matter to different stakeholders. Taking a page from marketers we don't have to “media buy” , but we have to target community behaviors. Know your audiences. The idea of Return on Relationships is another part of our BrandEd campaign that our friend @TedRubin applies to the art of building relationships that spread the word in a trusting authentic way to segmented audiences.

Lesson 4. Measurement Matters in A BrandED Campaign Although schools are stressed with standardized testing, a campaign of innovative leadership behavior begs for measurement. Not at the weighty level of a testing program, but with an eye on capturing small, but powerful data moments that show that the campaign is improving Culture, Performance and Resourcing. A targeted, attainable goal for each of the lanes of a BrandED campaign can result in capturing “Bigger Data”, the authentic small measures that show powerful gains in communication for leaders. Your story becomes more valid with data. With data in mind you are more than an opinion about using business branding principles in your educational leader toolbox.