August 2, 2023
Consistency in branding is key.
Even those who haven’t seen the movie would recognize that shade of Barbie pink anywhere. The consistent use of the color in everything from billboards to product launches has left a lasting impression on consumers and created an automatic association with the Barbie brand. Charter schools can also establish a strong and recognizable identity. As a first step, create a simple brand style guide that outlines rules around key details such as colors, font, and logo, and share it with teachers, coaches, and others who use the school’s brand elements. When your branding is the same on the school marquee, baseball jersey, and weekly newsletter, it will become more easily and quickly recognizable over time.
It’s also important to make sure your school’s mission and core values are communicated clearly and accurately to drive home your message and make it easy for prospective families to understand your focus. Conduct an audit of your website, communications, and promotional materials to ensure consistency in messaging. Remember that every time someone interacts with your brand is an opportunity to let them know why they should choose your school!
Partnerships can help to strengthen your brand.
The Barbie movie is a fantastic example of how partnerships can raise awareness and create buzz around your brand. From Barbie-branded apparel to bright pink hot sauce, we are constantly reminded to go see the movie. And while we aren’t suggesting you partner with Crocs to make a pair in your school colors (although this would really make your brand stand out!), there are a lot of other partnerships that could work for your school and support your branding efforts.
You could approach a popular local restaurant and ask them if they would host a fundraiser to donate a percentage of sales on a given day, such as your school’s opening anniversary or during national charter schools week, to tie into your larger campaign. In return, you would mention the promotion and thank the restaurant in flyers and/or emails sent to families. You might approach a local community center, church, or grocery store to ask if you can leave promotional materials in a high-traffic area. Another example is reaching out to local organizations and business to inquire about volunteer and/or mentorship and internship opportunities. And jokes about Crocs aside, other items could work – for example, consider teaming up with local artists or designers to create a new co-branded product with input from your school’s art, business, or engineering classes.
All of these strengthen your brand awareness while helping others in the community to understand your story and be compelled to share it!
Good storytelling keeps your audience engaged.
Strong marketing got people to the theatre, and a compelling story kept the buzz going and generated positive reviews. Charter schools can also harness the power and potential of storytelling to keep families engaged. Charter schools have the important elements of a compelling story – the characters, the mission, the stakes. In practice, storytelling for charter schools looks a little different. Schools tell their stories at special events, on social media, and face-to-face with students, parents, and community members (for example, at board meetings and school tours). Share your achievements often and widely, and connect them to your school’s mission to reinforce your brand.
By implementing these key lessons from the Barbie movie’s marketing strategy, your charter school can enhance its branding, improve engagement with your community, and make a lasting impact with your message and mission. A consistent and compelling brand identity, coupled with strategic partnerships and effective storytelling, will contribute to increased awareness of and support for your school.