COVID-19 offers Independent schools an unexpected opportunity to develop a competitive advantage

COVID-19 offers Independent schools an unexpected opportunity to develop a competitive advantage

If, like us, you have been shocked by how fundamentally this virus has changed the world in just a few weeks, you may be looking for some positive actions that you can take to start finding the silver lining in this particular cloud. With the UK’s schools closing for a prolonged period from the 20th of March, here at MAXX we thought it would be useful to explore how forward-thinking schools could utilise this period to prepare for better times and come back stronger, revitalised and more prominent than ever.

Here are our top five tips to make the most of this quieter period: 

  1. This is a time to reflect and evaluate. Are your messaging, prospectuses and website a true reflection of your culture, facilities and reputation? Consider organising an online messaging workshop with key staff who are able to join you and develop a ‘messaging matrix’. This is a simple way to ensure your tone and culture are presented consistently across every material your school produces. 

  2. We know how busy the day to day lives of independent school staff are so it’s sometimes challenging to keep an eye on your competitors! Use this time to closely analyse what your competitor schools are saying about themselves and how they promote this to staff, students, parents and the local community. 

  3. Review your brand assets (logo, crest, colours, imagery and fonts). Is everything used consistently throughout the school or are there lots of versions that are used a little haphazardly at times? Maybe you feel that they are even a little dated? A few simple and smart brand updates can help create a buzz and when your school re-opens. Now is a perfect time to gather examples of all the materials you produce and compare how the brand assets are used and what needs to be done to get a totally professional overall look. You may consider developing a full set of brand guidelines to ensure the good work you do is then continued over the coming year.

  4. We all know how important it is for schools to be posting and engaging with their communities on social media, but marketing teams are often so busy that they risk posting sporadic and uninspiring content. Use this time to create a social media schedule and plan/write as much content as you can so that when things get busy, you’ve got a bank of inspiration to work from and a consistent schedule to work from. 

  5. Ever wondered if your website was really performing well for you but simply not had enough time or expertise to find out? Now is the time to take a close look at the performance, the user experience and also whether it could be developed further to add extra functionality that would aid the smooth running of the school and communication with parents, teachers and students. Consider running a detailed website review and analysis to explore user experience, clarity, brand, accessibility and more. 

MAXX is a leading marketing agency working with some of the top independent schools in the world, such as Westminster School, Marlborough College and Cheam, as well as many smaller schools that may be less well known but are proud of the highest levels of education that they deliver. We work with ambitious schools that are ready for meaningful change and are hungry to deliver marketing materials that they can finally be proud of.

We are able to support you in your marketing challenges, whether they be in our top five list above or something completely different! For more information about our work, check out some of the examples in the portfolio on our website.

Are you ready for change? If so, let’s have a chat to help you plan how to most effectively use the time you have.