We’re thrilled to be again working on Tessera for Downside School, brand communications beyond expectations. Thrilled because not only does this piece of print look great – with all the usual investment of time in design, layout and typography our clients expect – but it goes way beyond usual branded communications from schools. It’s not a prospectus, it’s not a yearbook, it’s not a fundraising vehicle – it’s not anything that has a particular name. And that’s good. Good because it shows it’s unique; in turn creating differentiation. It’s exactly that differentiation schools – or any business for that matter – need to occupy the marketing high ground.
Marketing departments tend to be scaredy cats. Placing ads in the same space because competitors are doing so. Or, creating the same format of communications because that’s how it’s often been done. Well you can, and it will probably be alright. No big surprises – but equally no big results. But what’s the real message from a brand perspective? An organisation, following the usual path content with the status quo, not challenging, not leading. It might be okay for some business. Maybe because the MD is an amazing sales person or the product/service is so good it sells itself. – And likely many brand and design agencies will take the projects. Not us though. No one comes to us if they want space fillers and no design thinking. That’s just not what we’re about or want to do.
The point is, businesses who truly are different with unique qualities and a distinctive offer should maintain these characteristics across the board – including in their brand communications. Not by just saying they’re different but by doing things differently too. This is where branding is powerful. It’s the impression it leaves behind after being touched. Creating communications beyond the expected provides the opportunity to be more penetrative and make a deeper impression.
The Tessera magazine is a collection of essays and EPQ’s written by the pupils and educators at Downside School. No marketing speak, no sales patter. Just well researched, rigorous and inspirational content that reveals the quality of the education at the school. Rather competing stuff. Brand communications – beyond expectations.
You can read more about the school here.