Is your district going through the rebranding process? Then this blog is for you! But before you read this week’s blog, head over to Part 1, where we covered everything you need to know to set you and your district up for a successful rebrand.
Today’s blog covers everything you do after the new branding is completed. It’s a guest blog by our Chief Inspirational Officer, Heidi Feller, and includes elements of Megan Anthony’s “Roadmap to Rebranding” presentation that she created for our membership program. Thank you, Heidi and Megan!
Rebranding your district can feel a lot like having a root canal without any anesthesia, so do yourself a favor and realize that projects like these take time.
While this blog is not meant to be a comprehensive list, it should help you cover your bases as you move through this process – and remember, it is a process! It will take a minute for your staff and community to adjust. Read on for some of our best advice from folks who have navigated a rebranding.
Roll Out the New Brand
Make your new logo/colors/brand a BIG deal. Splash it everywhere – and get SWAG!
Perhaps a bumper sticker for district families? A special announcement on social media – perhaps a video with the superintendent? Maybe even a staff T-shirt proudly featuring your new logo?
Ask them to send in pics of themselves wearing the new swag for you to post on social media. Ask them to wear it each Friday. Trust me, giving staff a free shirt will lead to more people being excited about your new brand.
Megan noted that your school might not have the budget to implement a rebrand all at once. For example, replacing all athletic uniforms might be a major expense. It’s OK if old branding is “in rotation” for a little while longer, and things can be rolled out in phases.
Provide Staff with the Tools
Create a style guide with specifics such as color codes, fonts, and logo forms, and then give that guide to everyone! Place it on your website and direct inquiries to that page. Here are two great examples that you can reference in developing your style guide.
Engage in Brand Maintenance
“Brand maintenance” is an ongoing process that includes gentle yet firm reminders about the correct brand usage. It’s never-ending – but well worth it, to protect your brand integrity!
Megan suggests identifying Brand Managers in your district, who are empowered to enforce brand standards and grant logo usage requests. She also recommends having Brand Users, who are able to order school swag and branded items, as well as Brand Partners, which are external groups (PTOs, local businesses, etc.) who have permission to use your logo.
We invited all of those people to a meeting where we shared the brand guidelines and answered any questions they had. Everybody got my email address, a copy of the brand guidelines, and an email with all of the logo files.
Make the Rounds
Get out to each school and speak to secretaries and other personnel. Help them understand what new branding means for them. Ask them to remove old logos and throw out old letterhead and envelopes. Remind them to keep an eye out throughout the school year for old stuff and to bookmark on their desktop the logo and guidelines for easy access to updating.
Specifically, send the logo to staff members in emails and on their classroom websites. Sending JUST the logo in an email along with instructions on updating a website logo goes a long way! Don’t assume that people know how to switch out a logo, so recording a short video to include in this correspondence will garner you extra friends.
P.S. Don’t forget about your food service and transportation departments.
Keep your Activities or Athletic Director in the KNOW!! As you update the logo, hashtag, branding, etc., one area that takes a long time to bring up to speed is the many sports and activities. Again, share the logo, branding guidelines, and other pertinent information with coaches, secretaries, and other personnel. New uniforms, helmets, and other equipment aren’t ordered each year. Remind these people of the new brand OFTEN.
Rebranding your district is an exciting time. Be sure to communicate often with your staff as you move through the steps. Get them excited AND give them the tools.
We have one more topic to cover within branding – so check back in next month to learn how to establish your brand voice for your school.
A guest post from Heidi Feller, our Chief Inspirational Officer. She is a former teacher and district school PR person, but now she spends her days inspiring the #SocialSchool4EDU school partners with the encouragement they need to tell their story. In her own words, “Our teachers and students knock their socks off learning and growing each school day and the world needs to know about it!”