Make a brand worth buying into

4th June 2010 at 01:00

While Ms Anne Thrope's article on branding was amusing ("Bin the platitudes and get some grit," TES Magazine, May 21), my heart did sink at the degree of misunderstanding of brand. Most of all it sank at the representation of maintained schools, yet again, as violent, depressing and underachieving.

Why on earth would I choose to put my child through a system that so consistently and publicly denigrates the staff and the children educated within it?

Nevertheless, the article was right that many schools do branding badly, due in no small part to a fundamental lack of understanding. In brief, brand is a reputation, and every school has a reputation. Unfortunately, in too many cases that reputation is based on its history and managed by the school gate network.

When parents choose a school, they are making a decision about their children's future and buying into the school's promise, or its brand. So, it is absolutely within the school's grasp to develop a brand that parents and students want.

So, yes, the brand is more than a fuzzy logo created by a Year 10 work experience student and a gag-inducing strapline; it is about every aspect of the way a school presents itself and establishing and maintaining it is a longer-term commitment.

Macia Grebot, Director, Grebot Donnelly Associates, Twickenham.

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