Education Branding Is All About UX.
For many of us, the term ‘UX’ conjures an image of nerds in front of screens, designing wireframes, user flows, and page layouts.
But in the age of screens, technology and experiences, everything needs to be considered from a UX perspective. This is especially so for education branding.
Popular theory states that about 80% of people’s attitude to a brand is based on emotion, and 20% is rational, with our decisions often based on feel then backed up with facts. In short, a brand is mostly a ‘gut feel’ about a product or service.
By their nature, competing education institutions are usually compelled to offer very similar product choices, features and outcomes. When you consider that perhaps only 20% of a prospects choice is based on these small tangible product differences, it is apparent brand perception and experience must play a dominant role in their decision.
Education institutions, understanding this, are very focussed on reputation for branding. But reputation is only one part of the puzzle. It might drive inquiry, but todays’ consumers want more: they want and expect an emotionally satisfying experience. This is where user experience comes in.
So how does an education brand go about delivering a great brand UX?
Here’s a simple way of thinking about your approach to digital branding and user experience design. If your brand is personified, it can be defined by what it would ‘wear’ ‘do’ and ‘say’.
Traditionally, schools have put a lot of effort into the wear: the logo, colours and style guide etc.
The bigger untapped education branding experience opportunity is the ‘say’ and ‘do’.
Let’s say your institution is a challenger, who wants to be known for innovation and championing the individual.
At the online and collateral level, your ‘voice’ would avoid the formality of the category: being more informal, intimate and inviting.
You would use innovative communications – more video featuring individuals.
You would find a way to make your online application process more intuitive, easy, friendly and individual focused.
When it comes to events, promotion and media choices, creating an unconventional, innovative, individual user experience would be your guiding mantra.
An innovative brand would make things simpler. It would try new innovations. Turn up in unexpected places. Use traditional media differently.
The same ‘personality’ approach to UX is equally powerful for helping brands feel exclusive, traditional, creative, nurturing or whatever.
The first step is to audit how new prospects experience your brand. The same ‘personality’ approach to UX is equally powerful for helping brands feel exclusive, traditional, creative, nurturing or whatever.