You may not have given much thought to the “branding” of your child care center. We’re a child care center, you’re probably thinking.
But make no mistake: You do indeed have a brand, whether or not you’ve taken any active role in shaping it. Your brand is simply how you – and your child care center – are perceived in the minds of your customers and potential customers.
Think about the “brands” of the people you deal with in your daily life:
– Mildred at the bank: Friendly, methodical, unwilling to be rushed for any reason. Inordinately fond of pennies.
– Olivia, your dry cleaner: Brusque bordering on rude, yet relentless on grease stains.
– Frank, your mechanic: Kind of flaky and slow to return calls, but knows his way around a transmission like nobody else.
What’s your brand? It’s shaped both by what you officially “do” – and how well you do it – as well as the countless interactions you have with your families and prospective families, including things like:
- How promptly – and enthusiastically – you answer the phone
- The look and feel of your website
- How the teachers and administrators interact with the children in your program
- The way your center looks (and even smells)
- Whether your teachers are a cohesive, effective team or a fractured, gossiping, unhappy mess
Maintaining a formal marketing program is an excellent way to be proactive in shaping your brand, but never forget that you’re already imprinting it on everyone around you, every single day, with everything you do (or don’t do).