A 2017 Ed Leader Signal: School Brand is Essential in our Post Election New Year




I’m getting front of my Marketing Strategies class ready to deliver my favorite lecture about Brand, Chapter 7 of our Strategies book, when a quick paging through the Wall Street Journal stops me in my tracks. I see the headline:  Trump’s Win Has Ad Agencies Rethink How They Collect Data, Recruit staff



I change the topic of my lecture on the spot. It’s not simply Brand….RETHINKING Brand is the topic for today


So we’ve all been touched by this need for “rethinking” since Nov 8. On a personal level, it’s changed the way we viewed each other. Rethinking . The way we size up our friends, colleagues, and even total strangers in casual ways. “I wonder what they believed on Nov 8? I wonder what brand message appealed to them? Were they part of the segments of the population that were “missed” by the WSJ reports glib advertisers and big data takers who are now Rethinking? “ All this money, all this sophisticated collection of information. And in the end the experts take the wrong temperature.  It may be the figurative death of the experts. There’ a deeper level for educators around the idea of Rethinking. Most educators haven’t even thought about "Brand" .


In class we talked about it. Rethinking.



My students come from all over the world. They are marketing business students. They learn lessons from experts in their text and the practitioners in the real world of brand every week in my class. I’m someone who loves the brand conversation. Now. Rethinking. We talked about how the missteps of the world of advertising, marketing and brand cited in the  article and what it means.  They continue to watch the developments of the transition to a new administration. And I wait until the next class to talk to them about the new lessons learned lessons.

But I'm thinking brand in education. Rethinking? 

 I see the next months will be about rethinking of brand. This  will be top of mind in the business sense. As the article suggests, advertisers will need to be more in touch with the world outside the bubbles they have relied upon to take the temperature for buying anything from a political message to laundry soap.


What about educational leaders? It has to start with YOU. Your brand thinking. Bring it to your awareness.


I see signals that impact the topic of Brand in education. Once thought only as a vehicle for sales and profits, brand is a vehicle for communicating beyond the purchase of a product. If these last months have taught something, it is a clear, defined targeted, powerful single-minded message creates an IMAGE. The targeted placement of that message is full of connecting PROMISE and the RESULT of the messaging is linked to the far-reaching channels for relationships that can be sparked and shared and formed to reach a shared brand goal.

In education as the conversation turns to the topics of choice and regulation in a new administration, leaders must understand what role Brand plays in these discussions.

Think brand. Rethink brand.

There has never been a  more necessary time to work on a personal professional leadership brand and an institutional brand than in this post-election season. Understanding of the communication value of Brand is critical to the development of the difference your school brings. It may become increasingly necessary to know how to tell a story of your school’s brand value, and essential to its well-being.  In the light of choice, parents look for IMAGE, PROMISE and RESULT. They check out your website more critically, they seek out online comments about your school. They engage. Rethinking of Brand must be a priority for educational leaders, more so than it was just  a few short months ago. Brand isn’t just for selling. It is for telling. Knowing how to communicate and engage around a unique school brand is now part of Rethinking your Leadership.