We Talk About Our Schools Until Our Dying Day. How Many Brands Can Claim the Same Thing?
Recently, on episode 208 of the SDM Show, Rob Cairns sat down with Bridget Willard and I to talk about the third book in our online marketing series, “The Only Online Marketing Book You Need For Your School.”
Attachment to our Schools is an Attachment for Life
Businesses spend a lot of money and effort developing brand loyalty. However, trends come and go and consumers are fickle. And why not? We want to continually be delighted, and the marketplace is always racheting up our expectations so we are never truly content with what we have.
Schools have an advantage over other types of businesses, and it is that we are at some kind of school for the better part of our lives. Learning, in some form or another, is always going on. The loyalty we have, especially for our colleges and universities, extends past our own feelings as alumni, creating bonds and rewards for entire communities over generations.
Look at any university or college town – most businesses and infrastructure are connected to places of higher learning. We will talk about our schools until our dying day – and mostly with fond memories. Think about alumni who donate to their school during their lives and after passing. Michael Bloomber donated 1.8 billion dollars to his Alma Mater, Johns Hopkins. That kind of brand loyalty is something most businesses can only dream about.
We may only be donating our time to volunteer, or a few hundred dollars, or our collection of books for the campus center, but it all adds up. Even smaller schools should take more advantage of customer loyalty. Education, as a commodity, eats everything else for breakfast.
The Internet Has Become the New School Yard and Classroom
For schools what’s very important, and that’s changed over the last few years, is that the traditional school building and school year, in many aspect, no longer exists. If you’re looking at an online course, you can start any time. If you want to take a business course at work, you can start the program pretty much when you like. Social media connects people in ways that the school yard or the campus center used to. Seniors can attend classes and continue education. We are no longer physcially hindered from attending classes in other cities or countries.
Schools have had the bigger piece of our attention for the longest time. A school is a brand that we’re going to be very involved with for many years. We might connect with other brands during these years, (think about clothing labels, music, foods and drinks you were loyal to in high school and which you bought in college), but it’s highly unlikely that in all the years we are at school that we’re going to be involved with the same brands. We won’t. We will switch when there’s something trending. The one constant in our lives are the schools that we attend.
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