Increase School Admissions | Enhancing enrolment at your school by improving the School Brand
A majority of K-12 schools in India are running under capacity and are struggling to fill in their seats. Conventional criterion like Infrastructure, Proximity or Promotion are not creating enough differentiation to lure the parents to choose the school for admission as almost every school starts with a strong infrastructure now.
In recent past, a lot has changed in the school education arena in India. A big number of new schools has been launched and the franchise mechanism has also given a boost to it. The number of school seats is far more bigger (except in a few tier 1 cities) then the number of available students and this has become a dog bite dog market. One school is willing to go to any depth to snatch the kids or pouch the teachers of the competing school.
Today the only differentiator for a school can be its brand.
A school principal may do the best on the academic or administrative part, but if the admissions are not increasing, one will not last long in the hot seat and why not? Enrollment is the main revenue stream for a school to survive.
So be it a proactive school leader or a worried one, It really seems fulfilling, when they care for the brand of their school and come to join my workshop ‘4 D’s of School Branding‘ and I feel even more delighted when after the workshop they give such amazing testimonials. Do watch a few such testimonials that lead the watchers to think that I must have paid them huge sum of money to utter those kind of words.
1. Ms Archana Gaba, Director Principal Saint Kabir Gurukul
2. Ms Chetan Bansal, Director Principal, Vedanta International School Una
3. Mr Maimur Sultan, Principal, Gyandan global School, Hanumangarh
WHERE THE IDEA POP INTO MY MIND
As a researcher on ‘the future of education’ and on ‘the future of workplace’, I usually get an invite to speak on various platforms at the best of the institutions in the country especially those focusing on school education.
The concept of school branding and school admission blues took my special notice, when in June 2018, I was invited to speak on a School Leaders Workshop and I was requested to speak around School Branding that too on the night before the workshop.
I was oblivious as my focus was futurism and innovation, but the organisers were good friends and on the insistence I accepted to speak on ‘Basics of Branding for schools’.
I was given a 20 minute spell, but I spoke for around 35 minute as people were having many queries. I got loads of appreciation from some very worthy education leaders and that left me thinking, how can I take it further from here.
THE FURTHER GROWTH
When I realised that people were interested in the idea, I started working with the schools on the concept of School Branding and soon I realised that a majority of school leaders do not understand, what BRANDING is all about.
Most of them believed that the #Brand #Identifiers are the #Brand and the #promotion is #Branding.
A few of them also believed that #Advertising is #Branding.
But the even bigger issue was that almost all of them believed that Branding is a manipulation in a negative connotation. And I mean it because I have talked to the most revered educators and a majority of them carry a misconception about the branding.
So, I started a research to realise the impact of using #communication #strategies by Schools.
Here in this article, I am going to stress upon two things
- WHY a school should consider Branding, if they want to remain relevant in the future
- HOW a school can actually improve their brand
Let us first understand the
WHY 1 | THE BASIC ECONOMICS
Last year, when AICTE recognised that almost 27 lakh seats were lying vacant in various engineering colleges in India, they decided to summon all the colleges with less than 30 per cent admission in past five years to either shut down or get merged with a nearby college and eventually 800 colleges were on the list for this closure.
The logic of AICTE was simple, if the colleges do not have enough number of admissions, they will not be able to raise enough money and hence they will simply not have enough funds to provide for quality education.
The economics is simple and applied everywhere. A majority of schools here in India run under capacity. If the schools may improve somehow the number of admissions, they may get extra funds to explore new innovations. The idea is to give more funds to the smaller brands to become the big brands.
WHY 2 | THE COMMUNITY
If a school does not have a strong sense of community among its key stakeholders, the school will never thrive.
There are schools, who are very innovative, but they struggle to survive because the parents may not understand the big idea. So the school decides to go bag less but fail to communicate it well to the parents, for sure there will be a few parents who will contest this idea because the community is all about educating and a majority of schools fail to educate their parents, teachers, staff and even the leaders.
WHY 3 | THE PRIORITY
Almost all the school owners, who have been running the schools for decades, believe, they know it all and they do not seems to be caring for the brand concept. Their entire idea is cost cutting. Believe it or not but the biggest of the corporations of the world have failed only when they went into a cost cutting mode instead of a growth mindset of more business.
So, we have realised that a number of schools are not giving their brand a due priority. What they are missing to understand that the market scenario is changing and the schools will not be run now in the same fashion as they were being run in earlier times.
WHY 3 | THE OPPORTUNITY
Because of the huge chaos that has been created in the market, a huge opportunity has also popped out today. Since the parents are not happy with a majority of the schools, any school that can do a little better from the rest of the schools, will become the invincible winner of the market. What they need to understand is the way to become different.
So the schools need to understand the concepts of branding clearly and have to align it with the parenting community they have.
There are many more WHYs but I would choose to skip them as they can be controversial. So, when we have understood the WHYs now lets also understand the HOWs
You can learn the school branding in three manner,
1. Even If you are a non empowered school leader, who is not getting any support from the school to pay for your learning, we are here to support you through our FUNDAMENTAL CONTENT KIT ON SCHOOL BRANDING.
You may fill in this form and send us the screenshot through firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share the content kit with you through a reply email.
2. At second level, you may be serious about learning this skill and need some in depth knowledge. You may join any of the following programs.
One day workshop ‘4 D’s of School Branding‘ or three days workshop Mastering the School Branding. Do visit the calendar to know more about these programs. You will also get a School Branding Audit Program worth INR 2500/- for FREE with any of the program.
After finishing any of the above physical workshop, a school leader may join Certificate Course in School Branding, a month long Whatsapp based program and may become a Certified School Branding Expert. This online program will let you learn many concepts in depth.
3. School Branding Consultancy | This program is available only to an empowered school leader. Please do read below to understand, who is an empowered school leader
It would be a long term through phone/whatsapp/email Mentoring program. To know more about it, please write to us on email@example.com.