What is your Brand Message? Brand messaging tools for educational institutions

I was invited by Rachael Berndt, Business Advisor at Venture Taranaki to present to Study Taranaki and Wanganui collective of schools and institutes. We discussed and review with a checklist ‘Brand messaging tools for educational institutions’. We had about 16 attendees, International deans and directors from various schools present.

It was insightful sharing from two other presenters on the challenges and opportunities that Taranaki Schools have and international students who choose to study in a destination based their selection primarily with connections already fostered as key influential factor.

Other consideration will be support available directly from schools as in pastoral care, student, teaching and also the wider welcoming community that supports their desire to foster cultural exchange. The immediate benefits of having international students goes to school and economic benefits of this exchange is foster rightly can have long term effects of tourism and business exchange, and if the experience and relation with graduating international students and visits from their family are nurtured positively.

brandpicSo, what is your brand message?

In my presentation, we discussed that A brand is more than a logo.

Marketing messaging is made up from collection on both the written, spoken and experienced form. This could be in your slogan, mission statement, brand pillars, benefits, unique value proposition, web copy and other information available online about your brand through third party sites like directory/social profiles.

  • It’s not just for marketing materials and websites;

    it’s an aspiration for the entire school and institutional community.

  • It’s inextricably linked to the institution’s overall strategy,

    and it should be present in everything from; classes to activities, to tutors to inspirational learning, cultural exchange to scholarships.

The format of my presentation was meant to conjure sharing and discussions.

  1. Do you have a defined USP and key brand message?  Y/N

Unique Selling Proposition represents a combination of tangible and intangible elements.
Besides your curriculum, sports teams, and facilities, every educational institution also has a less definable personality, culture, and experience to offer.

  • What is unique about your school/ institute?
  • Do students resonate and reverberate the same?
  • Do they have pride in their school?
  • How do you currently encourage them to share this message?

  1. Do you know and understand your target audience? Y/ N 

  • Who is your main audience?
  • Do you understand their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes? 
  • How are you communicating to them?


  1. What is your brand promise?

Build your brand promise by conveying how your school/ institute has solve their problems.

What are their key value drivers for sending their child to Taranaki/ Waganui, and to your institute?

  • Improve spoken English
  • Less distractions from bigger city institutes
  • Safe and smaller learning environment with personalised learning plans?


  1. Developing your brand slogan

  • Do you have one?
  • Does it effortlessly communicate what you offer and indicate the value?
  • Develop a tone to support your message.



  1. Back up your brand authority

  • Do you have testimonials, student video, story/blog to back your brand message?
  • Are there examples and feedback from alumni that you can use to share?




In summary, we ended this segment of the presentation with a few challenges that I have found in beneficial to challenge everyone, including my business and that of my marketing clients:

Our unique selling point proposition (USP) is key to unlocking what makes your school, business or service different; it is after all what differentiates us from others.

  • Can we set-up an open campaign to ask students, clients to be part of building a solid brand identity and incentivise them to share it?
  • Who can we identify as influential person who are be the face and experience of your brand?
  • Can this be unified brand experience and messaging be produced authentically and not scripted?
  • What can we do with limited time, resources and budget?
  • Who can we pool to support and have the end goal in mind, be intentional can focus on what we can do today?

In my next post, I will share on how to ‘Develop a SMART marketing plan‘ with limited time and budget.


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