Written By: Hans Appel
Years ago, a high level administrator asked us: “what’s the point of middle school?” At the time, it felt like an insulting question to a group bound together with the crazy singular purpose of teaching young hormonal minds and hearts. But at the the core of the question was: WHO is Enterprise Middle School? And maybe more importantly: WHY EMS?
What is your school about? What makes your building unique? How do you convey that message to your various stakeholders? What perception do students, staff, and community have about your school?
Branding refers to a name, term, decision, symbol or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from it’s rivals in the eyes of the customers.
We can all recognize uber popular brands like: Nike, Apple, or the LA Lakers. We’ve grown up on McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Disney. Through the years, our world has been turned upside down with brand giants like Google, Netflix, and Amazon.
In recent years, there’s been an exponentially stronger push in public education to effectively brand individual schools and/or districts. Perhaps, this branding need is in response to negative public perceptions about education. Or maybe it’s correlated to increased numbers of private, charter, and independent schools. It could be that in some areas, there is increased competition for enrollment. While all of these may be factors, I think it’s most important because branding our school allows others to see the magic that we see everyday...
Branding isn’t just about school choice, it’s a way of creating a community and shared belief system for your school culture.
Award Winning Culture was created by Hans and Jennifer Appel with the sole purpose of creating an educational mindset of Positive INTENTIONALITY and ACTION; with a daily mantra to make our sphere of influence stronger through Character, Excellence, and Community. Part of AWC's mission is to highlight outstanding educators, companies, and resources that support an Award Winning Culture. Both Jennifer and Hans work at Enterprise Middle School aka Wildcat Nation. Wildcat Nation received the 2018 ASCD Whole Child Award in Washington, for its award winning culture and the 2018 Global "Class Act Award" for Kindness.