In last week’s blog, we defined some marketing concepts. So how does all this apply to English schools?
Before starting out, you need to look at the market very carefully – what does it have, what is it missing, what gaps can you fill, and how can you deliver? It may be as simple as just building it and waiting for them to come. Particularly for the independent school, you need to research the local market very carefully (see Where and How? in this series for more on this topic) and position yourself very carefully. Then stick to your guns or risk diluting your brand. If you brand yourself as a besuited, bilingual, bicultural specialist tailoring one-to-one tuition, at a premium, to top executives going overseas, people might be surprised to see you in jeans and a T-shirt teaching 15-dollar Skype lessons in your downtime.
We chose Modern English and our logo, a bus emerging from a target, as they reflected our outlook – we were teaching modern English in a modern way; the name of the product is in the name of the business, and the symbols are both instantly recognizable as being ‘foreign’ and therefore somewhat glamorous, but also convey meaning and proof of our product delivery. Anyone can ride a bus, and all are welcome; we will guide you through the often complicated world of English, provide a driver and a map, and show you the targets you need to hit. This extends to slogans on our achievement certificates: Modern Kids Hit the Target! We give these and badges away, and our students, hopefully our raving fans, continue our branding and marketing for us as they leave the classroom.