District Administration February 2018 - 25

MarketingMatters
Brewing a remarkable school brand
How to be 'anything but typical'
By Trish Rubin

I

work with schools to teach brand
and marketing strategies to educators. That job didn't exist a few
short years ago. It's not typical work and
neither is school branding, which I characterize as "business as unusual."
Branding is an empowering trend for
educators who move out of their typical professional silos into understanding
marketing tools. Administrators must
be "omnichannel," telling the story of
a school online and offline. First, we
need a brand that identifies us, enhances
school culture and connects us to opportunities. Crafting your school brand can
build internal and external relationships
that get people talking positively.
Remarkable educators can control
their narrative. Those stories must be
anything but typical.
Being remarkable: Purple Cow
One of the finest minds in marketing,
Seth Godin, addresses the need for being
"remarkable"- getting people to notice,
to talk, to spread the good word about
a message. Ideas must be remarkable-
something to talk about. Godin explains
that no idea spreads, no concept gets
interest, no loyalties are born from being
typical. He uses cows as an example.
Cows are typical. No one stops to look.
But if the cow were purple we would
stop in our tracks and remark.
Can schools do this? Schools have
regulations and must present to the
public in ways that are typical. There
are the structures that must be recognizable and not so remarkable as to

DAmag.me/brew

www.DistrictAdministration.com

If the business world
can create remarkability
around a cup of
coffee, our schools can
do the same around
their own remarkable,
unique stories.
scare your community off. How do
you go beyond typical?
Go get some coffee and think
about it.
Actually, part of the answer is in that
coffee. There are thousands of coffee
brands. Coffee is typical. Coffee is coffee.
But brands like Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, 7 Eleven and others have learned
how to brew their rich brown mix into
a distinctive "purple cow." These companies know how to message through a
unique brand value and create a special
bonding brew. They create stickiness, a
marketing term that takes something
typical and creates an emotional bond.
This is the glue between a product or
service and consumer loyalty.
If the business world can create remarkability around a cup of coffee, our
schools can do the same around their
own remarkable, unique stories.
Purple Cow schools
What does it look like when an administrator adopts the Purple Cow model of
thinking and becomes the storyteller-in
chief of a brand?
If I were to give a Purple Cow award,
Luis Torres, principal of C.S. 55 in New
York City would lead the way. Torres of-

fers a few tips on balancing what's typical
against the need to build a remarkable
school brand.
First, aim for unique in communication of school brand. His logo, for example, takes the typical tiger found in so
many school logos and moves it visually
to a new direction.
Second, be consistent and omnichannel. His logo tagline, "A True
Community School" is embraced by
the community. They even developed a
school mantra: "Hear us ROAR." Roar
is worked into every message across the
omnichannel.
But Torres doesn't stop at these identity markers of the school. He uses Instagram (@torresascd) and Twitter
(@Torresrealtalk) to promote his remarkable, consistent school brand message
and ongoing narrative. He writes a short
"Morning MTA Reflection" blog as he
commutes, speaking to his school audience about how he deals with challenges
such as procrastination, and urging his
readers to think differently.
"I am on social media to promote
all the positive things happening in our
school," he says. "I want people to see
that public education is not bad and that
there are great things happening in our
community."
If you have found a way to balance
typical with remarkable as you communicate your story, please share it with me
(and with Torres). Call it a digital coffee
klatch for professional development in a
"business as unusual" world of educator
purple cows. DA
Marketing consultant Trish Rubin is the
author of BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build
Relationships and Empower Learning.
Follow her at @trishrubin.
February 2018 25


http://www.DAmag.me/brew http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration February 2018

District Administration February 2018 - Intro
District Administration February 2018 - Cover1
District Administration February 2018 - Cover2
District Administration February 2018 - 1
District Administration February 2018 - 2
District Administration February 2018 - 3
District Administration February 2018 - 4
District Administration February 2018 - 5
District Administration February 2018 - 6
District Administration February 2018 - 7
District Administration February 2018 - 8
District Administration February 2018 - 9
District Administration February 2018 - 10
District Administration February 2018 - 11
District Administration February 2018 - 12
District Administration February 2018 - 13
District Administration February 2018 - 14
District Administration February 2018 - 15
District Administration February 2018 - 16
District Administration February 2018 - 17
District Administration February 2018 - 18
District Administration February 2018 - 19
District Administration February 2018 - 20
District Administration February 2018 - 21
District Administration February 2018 - 22
District Administration February 2018 - 23
District Administration February 2018 - 24
District Administration February 2018 - 25
District Administration February 2018 - 26
District Administration February 2018 - 27
District Administration February 2018 - 28
District Administration February 2018 - 29
District Administration February 2018 - 30
District Administration February 2018 - 31
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District Administration February 2018 - 33
District Administration February 2018 - 34
District Administration February 2018 - 35
District Administration February 2018 - 36
District Administration February 2018 - 37
District Administration February 2018 - 38
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District Administration February 2018 - 40
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District Administration February 2018 - 45
District Administration February 2018 - 46
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District Administration February 2018 - 50
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District Administration February 2018 - Cover3
District Administration February 2018 - Cover4
District Administration February 2018 - 66
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