Business branding and "trust" haven't always been seen as complimentary. The nature of sales? Sales has always been about a CLOSING proposition. The "ABC Rule" of "Always Be Closing" and "Make the sale at any cost " gets in the way of trust. Back in the day, this was what sales was about. Today, brand is built on trust and for those of us who are loyal to our favorite brands, we know it from our own experience, and the loyal attachment we have to our favorite products or services.
( Quick find me a Dunkin' Donuts!)
The term Positioning, which current business dictionaries describe as the image of a brand as uniquely set apart from the competition, wasn’t part of the early days of selling product. In the mid 20th century, companies weren’t seen as interested or concerned about what a customer wanted. They created the product they thought the public needed and aggressively marketed it to the masses. This newer thinking in the marketplace today about building trust in an exchange with the customer didn’t emerge in the marketplace until the middle of the last century. The Madison Avenue days during the mid 20th century saw a growth of manufacturing, bringing with it a new heated sense of competition and an explosion of product offerings for mass marketing. Suddenly, products needed to become more than products to be successful in the crowd. They needed personality. They need to be Unique to be Different. They needed to be about more than packaging and price. They needed positioning.
The concept of Positioning is instructive and important for school leaders who anticipate the use of BrandED strategy for their schools, and in their professional development plan for themselves. Positioning with a crafted brand sets a school community apart and shows unique value. Trust is foundational for an exchange with stakeholders that will lead to brand loyalty for your school. And it works for individual leaders too.
Grab your Starbucks or Dunkin' Donut coffee. ~The later is my brand of choice~ and start to list what makes your school unique and different---deliciously so---ok I'm influenced by these donuts!...
Seriously, find what sets your school brand apart from the competition. Then start a dialogue about those points with your colleagues. You'll be on your way to positioning your school for a brand refresh that includes the strategies, processes and methodologies of BrandED.