Brand identity for schools: why it matters

Brand identity is something you may hear a lot about in the world of marketing. A strong brand identity means having a cohesive look and feel throughout everything your organisation does, for example social media, advertising, newsletters, your website, and more. Brand identity makes it clear what an organisation stands for — its values and purpose — as well as creating a recognisable look and tone that people become familiar with.

But why does it matter for schools? You may think that brand identity is something that only businesses and salespeople have to worry about. However, brand identity is an important part of the way a school presents itself. Strong brand identity will help your school stand out to prospective parents so they always recognise and gravitate towards you. What makes your school different from the sea of navy and red out there, and how can you communicate this?

While colours, fonts, and logos are all important, it’s not just the look of your communications that need to be cohesive. What sort of language are you using and what does this say about your school? Is your school more formal and traditional or does it take a more personal and informal approach? These are all things to think about and ensure that everything your school puts out, fits with its identity.

Now that we have explained why brand identity for schools is so important, here are three examples of schools that are doing it well.

Brand identity for schools: three excellent examples

Cavendish Education

Cavendish Education is a group of schools that provides specialist support for children with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, Asperger’s and other learning difficulties. Each school in the Cavendish family has its own distinctive character, atmosphere and facilities; but despite this, all the schools manage to keep a cohesive brand identity. One way the Cavendish group does this is with the use of their logo, a flower on deep purple background.

The school says: “At first sight this is perhaps just a lovely symbol but it carries more significance than that. The flower represents the blossoming of learning and life and each petal is a ‘C’, representing the main attributes we strive to instill in each of our pupils during their time with us. 

The 4Cs are:

  • Confidence, 
  • Competence,
  • Creativity, 
  • Character

Schools in the Cavendish Education group are immediately recognisable because of the logo, which appears on all Cavendish marketing materials. It is also an important symbol of the school’s ethos and beliefs.

James Allen Girls’ School

James Allen Girls’ School (or JAGS) has crafted a clever campaign to stand out from the crowd. ‘Picture yourself at JAGs’ speaks directly to prospective students, encouraging them to imagine the possibilities that a JAGs education can bring about. On the website, next to a portrait of James Allen (the school’s founder) there are portraits of JAGs girls doing everything from karate to playing the trumpet. JAGs are clearly communicating that they encourage students to be ambitious, hardworking and pursue plenty of extra-curricular activities. They are also throwing outdated stereotypes out of the window, showing that girls can be anything from athletes to filmmakers to musicians.

This clear communication of values is extremely memorable and is repeated across different platforms, from their print advertising to their school website. This ensures that all prospective parents will come across the campaign.

The portraiture concept is extended even further, with the school’s blog presented as a ‘Story Wall’ with framed images. They have done an excellent job of communicating their identity as a progressive girls’ school in an entertaining and engaging way.

Dallington School

Dallington is another example of a school with a strong brand identity. Dallington is a Prep school for children ages 3-11, which is immediately obvious from their advert. The illustrations and charming logo create the impression of a welcoming, gentle and friendly school, further reflected in the mention of it being a ‘family-run’ school. The copy includes personal testimonials from students, a sweet touch that makes it clear that the children’s wellbeing is the focus at Dallington, a visual manifestation of the ‘Dallington Difference’.

Head to the Dallington website and the soft blue colour scheme and illustrated logo are repeated, along with a welcome from the Headteacher on the first page. This extremely personal and friendly introduction is the first thing that prospective parents will see when they reach the site, a brilliant impression for parents looking for a nurturing community for their child.

The three schools above have managed to create strong brand identities in order to communicate with and attract prospective families.

If you would like more professional tips on marketing your schools do get in touch with the Digithrive For School’s team who are always happy to help. contact us here

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