Many schools approach us asking for a new website. We take a look at their existing website and a quick audit of their online presence/downloadable publications and we often realise what they actually need is a brand strategy BEFORE they need a new website.

Remember, Apollo 13, Houston, we have a problem? That’s right…

You don’t just need a new website. You need help.

But how do you convince a school that this is what they need to do.

Take a read of our response to a school who asked for a website quote based on a small school’s website we actually did.

“In preparing ballpark fee estimates for a new website, we think it’s important to outline to you the actual work we undertook for St John’s Lutheran Primary School in Bundaberg. It was not just a web development project. We were actually commissioned to undertake a strategic re-brand for the school which resulted in a new logo, positioning statement and marketing assets, including website, new prospectus and stationery. This brief was all underpinned with the business plan and marketing goals to a) create awareness for the school in the community b) shift perceptions and c) drive enrolments.

As part of this work for St Johns, we undertook market research (staff and parent focus groups and a parent survey), developed a brand strategy and marketing plan, and then proceeded with implementation across website, stationery, newsletter, signage, press advertising and social media. Critical to the success of this project were the new logo design and brand style to develop an impactful and synonymous brand identity, as well as new photography to capture the key messages and unique Bundaberg elements (students in macadamia plantations and cane farms).

The outcome of our research and brand strategy work was the new positioning line – The small school shaping big futures. This captured the brand promise of the school and enabled strong and original brand positioning to be created for the website and the prospectus – the lines: Where potential thrives – Room to Shine, Room to Grow, Room to Learn etc. Targeted and persuasive copy was then developed for the prospectus and website in order to strengthen and elaborate on the new positioning.

Therefore, with the above in mind we have prepared two ballpark options for your initial consideration which we are happy to discuss with you and prepare more detailed proposals on.”

Understanding what help you need with your website and school

Next time you want to build a new website, ask yourself how well are we positioning our school? How clear are we on our brand strategy?

A starting point for this is: Why do you want a new website?

List all the reasons why, how you feel about your current website, how it relates to your competitors, what your staff and parents and other people tell you about it – and FEEL about it – and WHY do they feel that way.

From here you can start to understand the real issues you are grappling with and have a better appreciation of the various facets that need to be addressed as part of creating a new website. You will see it is journey.

Without exception every outstanding website and marketing plan that we create for schools is borne out of topical research and a unique brand strategy. And that is the case whether it’s a big school or small.