Independent School Branding Illuminated [Podcast]



Let’s face it. You can market until the cows come home, but you need to have two things in place first. One is a great product to promote. (Your school is pretty stellar, so no problem there.) The other is a clear, concise, focused brand that separates you from the competition and gives (a certain set of) parents what they want. 

Our guest for this episode of the Sparkcast is Jennie Winton, founder of Mission-Minded, a branding agency that focuses on non-profits including higher ed and independent schools. I’ve admired Mission-Minded from afar for years through its blog and treasure trove of free marketing guides that are available on their website. I finally get to talk one-on-one with Jennie in this podcast that centers around independent school branding and the impact it can have on your school’s enrollment and development efforts.

Our work and joy is helping a school find that thing that makes it unique, but that is getting buried and not shown to families as powerfully as it could. We help to excavate that, clarify it, and find simple language to express it, so the school can send stronger signals to parents and students that are right for the school.

What You’ll Learn

  • How and why Mission-Minded recently helped SSATB successfully rebrand itself into The Enrollment Management Association.
  • What brand is in relation to independent schools and how a strong one can make marketing and communications focused, easier, and more effective.
  • The best time to embark on brand development, and how often your brand changes.
  • How great branding gives the school a way to talk about itself that it hadn't unearthed before.
  • How to know if your brand is working.
  • What enrollment marketing and campaign marketing have in common, and how to motivate donors through your brand. Jennie's formula for effective capital campaign marketing is: "Reason + Emotion + Urgency = Strong Capital Campaign."
  • How Marin Academy developed and integrated their brand effectively across multiple channels and a case study with their head of school.
  • Why the strongest brands come from leadership's backing.
  • Jennie's wish for directors of MarCom at independent schools.
  • One of Jennie's proudest moments in her work with schools. (Hint: It involves Crane Country Day School.)

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