Why Do You Matter?

Posted on April 14, 2016

Sebastian Buck published this article in Fast Company earlier this week. It poses the important question, “How is the world better if your brand succeeds?” In a world where a dual bottom line is more important than ever, organizations must ask this question of themselves. We ask it of ourselves this on a daily basis as parents (Am I raising my child to make the world a better place?) But do we ask it organizationally?

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Schools are already a step ahead of other industries because most people believe the world is better when we transform young lives and shape the next generation of leaders. But Buck’s question goes deeper than what we do; it forces us to ask why we matter.

Understanding the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your school’s brand is fairly straightforward. You have classes, athletics, and arts programs. They are taught in small classes by educators who care about the individual learner. Your campus is in a beautiful setting with state of the art facilities. The list goes on, but you get the picture. People don’t care about the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of your brand – these are rarely differentiators – they care about the ‘why’.

Shifting your branding approach to focus on why your school matters in the world at large can be challenging, but powerful. Buck writes, Taking this approach works on a number of levels: It builds deep emotional connection with people who share the brand’s values, and it’s clear now that for most people, a choice of a brand is an investment in meaning, not just features—and a brand’s meaning can endure long after the features are out of date.”

By understanding your school’s impact on a larger scale, you are able to focus on telling compelling narratives; narratives that do not just talk about the ‘achievements’ of your graduates, but about how your graduates are making the world a better place. Redefine the ROI of the education you provide. Understand the types of adults you hope to graduate. Reinforce both internally and externally why the world is a better place if your brand succeeds.

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