Daycare Marketing – Branding

This article is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your daycare and make it a success.

Some people think daycare marketing is as simple as placing a classifieds or yellow page ad, and for some, it can be. If you have competition (and you probably do), however, you can earn a majority local market share by successfully branding your daycare business.

Importance of a branded image

Branding is important because people purchase on emotion. Parents choose businesses that share their values, especially when it comes to their children. It’s important to identify and promote your branded identity so you can connect with your target clientele at a glance. A well-rounded branded strategy allows you to do just that. Careful critical thinking now pays huge dividends later.

If your daycare is not branded, then you’re just another daycare. There’s nothing that separates you from the competition. This reduces your potential customer pool to make choices based on factors such as price, convenience and preconceived notions. Without a branded identity, you have no control over preconceptions and therefore you’re forced to either compete on pricing and location alone. This is not a way to grow your business. Cheap does not outsell quality.

How to identify your branded image

Instead, you should compete based on public perception, which you can control with a branded image. To identify your branded image, you have to consider how you’re different from your competitors. What do you offer that they don’t (or that they don’t promote)? Many parents prefer a daycare that not only safeguards their children while they’re at work, but also fosters intellectual, physical and emotional growth through education, play time and cooperative learning. Perhaps you’re the “Learning Daycare” or the “Strong Body, Sound Mind Daycare.” Maybe you’re in a specialized niche such as the “Spiritual Daycare.”

To help you define what type of daycare you are, consider the features and benefits you offer your clientele. Understand the distinction between the two. Education is a feature, for example, while fostering critical thinking is a benefit. List all of your features and benefits, and pick the most important that also differentiate you from the competition to base your brand on.

You also have to understand your customers, and what motivates them. All parents want their children to receive the best care possible, but at the same time a daycare located near a university might have clientele with very different secondary motivators than a daycare located near an industrial park. What is your mission, and how does this mission apply to and benefit your clientele?

Once you’ve identified your differences, strengths, clientele, benefits and motivators, wrap them all together into a singular branded image that expresses who you are, what you do, and how you do it.

Branding through design

Skilled graphic design can transform your daycare’s branded identity from a concept to a visual motivator. This image is what the world will see, and your audience will perceive the ideal and emotions that your image expresses. The power of design is limitless, especially when you incorporate sound brand identity design principles for your daycare.

Your daycare colors, logo, corporate identity package, website, and other marketing materials are all a reflection of your brand; so familiar, cohesive design must be applied to all mediums. The goal is for your prospects to be able to glance at your material and instantly recognize who it’s from and what you stand for. When you achieve this, you’ve developed an excellent daycare brand identity.

The Oldest Tea Merchant in the World is Still a Marketing & Branding Phenomenon

Any traveler to London is naturally overwhelmed with the many sites, sounds, history and majesty of this glorious ancient capital, especially first time visitors. Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Thames, Big Ben the Horse Guards, 10 Downing Street, St. James Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Old Bailey and Hyde Park Gate are only a few of the famous must see locations tourists consume in the vast spread of this vibrant metropolis. The greatness of the British Empire is vividly on display in the streets, buildings, history and traditions that travelers can share with the British citizenry.

As a marketing consultant by trade I am particularly absorbed by the many ancient commercial establishments that are based in London. Harvey Nichols, Harrod’s, Fleet Street, Saville Row, Claridges, Hamleys, and hundreds of independent specialty shops that trace their provenance back centuries are more bountiful in London than in any other city in the world. Adolph Hitler did not refer to the British as “a nation of shopkeepers” for no reason.

One of the must visit shops I always include in my itinerary while in London is Twining’s. This venerable purveyor of tea is quintessentially British. The original tea shop is still the Companies base and the address at 216 Strand near Westminster has been in constant use for over three centuries.

The founder of Twinings, Thomas Twining was born in 1675. He moved to London as a young man and worked as his father did as a fuller (wool processor). At that time, having a trade was a necessary precursor to becoming a Freeman of the City of London. Unless designated a Freeman it was impossible to start a business in the city. Twining became a Freeman in 1701 and began to work for the East India Company, then the preeminent merchant trading company in the world.

The East India Company, piggybacking the dominance of the British navy, became the largest importer and exporter of luxury goods, spices and foods from the many corners of the globe where the empire had planted the British flag. Twining worked in teas and became absorbed in all things having to do with tea. His mentor, Thomas D’Aeth, would prove particularly valuable for the young entrepreneur.

By 1706 he was ready to open his own business. The Strand Street location he chose for his shop was fortuitous, as this area became the neighborhood of choice for the London upper crust after the horrific Great Fire of London. Politicians, merchants, military leaders and royalty began to come to enjoy the service, superior selection and top quality tea products available at Twinings.

Then as now, competition was tough. Coffee and teas houses were commonplace in 18th century Britain, and tea was not yet the ascendant national drink. Thomas Twining, however, under the important tutelage of Thomas D’Aeth had a powerful advantage over his competitors. He was not just a buyer, or server of tea, but having worked for the East India Company as an importer, with important connections on distant tea plantations, he knew more about varieties and newly developed types of teas than almost any other Englishman of his day.

Twinings became famous very quickly for the vast selection and high quality of the teas sold and served in the shop. The shops reputation for handling only the finest product, and its introduction of Earl Grey tea to the public cemented the Twining legacy. Thomas died in 1741, but miraculously the family continued to operate the shop and expand the business well into the 20th century. The Company holds a number of Royal Warrants, sells hundreds of types of tea and Twinings tea assortments are sold in over one hundred countries.

If you enjoy the great good luck to visit Twinings at 216 Strand Street in London today please closely note the door before entering the tea room. It is one of the most distinctive branding vehicles in the world, and the oldest in continuous use. The famous doorway was unveiled to the public in 1787. Two distinctively carved Chinese figures and a lion are at the crown of the sill. The Twinings logo, lacking a grammatically correct apostrophe, is written in the firm’s unique font, exactly as it appears to this day on every Twining product.

Thomas Twining created a brand that has become synonymous with highest quality and British excellence. After 300 years of continuous service to the tea consuming public, his star still shines ever bright at 216 Strand Street, London.

Freelance Marketing – Branding

This is the first article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your freelance business and make it a success.

Freelancers know that marketing can be tough. With few budgetary resources in comparison to competing corporations, every marketing effort must be meticulously calculated for success. Just because your freelance marketing budget is tight doesn’t mean you should skip the basic tenets of laying a sound marketing foundation. Quite the opposite, in fact, it means that you have to be nearly perfect to build your business to the next level. And no matter whether you’re a freelance designer, writer, developer, attorney, virtual assistant or other contractor, success begins with branding.

Importance of a branded image

Customers make purchases based on emotion, and they justify with logic. Your brand image sets the tone for that emotion. If your branded image tells customers that you’re the best person to provide a particular service, if it makes them feel comfortable doing business with you and confident that you’ll produce the results they’re looking for, you have crafted an excellent brand that’s primed for success.

How to identify your branded image

It’s important to identify what, exactly, your brand represents from the onset – before you do anything else. You can develop a branded image for your freelance by first listing the benefits of hiring you. This could be a guarantee, proven past results, service-specific superiority, low pricing and many other qualities.

Next, compare your list to your competitors to discover advantages. What can you do better than your competitors? Shortlist these qualities, and compare them to the qualities your target audience is seeking. If you can find a quality that: a) you exhibit exceedingly well; b) your competitors can’t compete against; and c) that your target audience wants enough to leave your competitors; you have your brand image.

Branding through design

Graphic design takes your freelance businesses’ branded concept and morphs it into a visual motivator through the use of colors, fonts, logo and layout. These traits are universally applied throughout your identity package, which consists of business cards, brochures, flyers, pocket folders, posters, your freelance work and other materials. All of your advertisements, including banners and rack cards, will carry your brand image. With dazzling brand design, your customers will come to instantly recognize what you stand for at a glance.

Choose a skilled graphic designer to develop your brand identity, and you’ll be on the fast track to success. Never skip this critical phase – your brand is what sets you apart and uniquely identifies you from the competition. It builds customer loyalty and ultimately increases sales. When you do it right, your return far outweighs your investment.