Five Reasons You Need a Verbal Identity

Nancy McDonald
Admissions & Marketing

In the same way your school needs a visual identity — logo, school colors, typefaces that instantly signal your brand — you likewise need a verbal identity.

This carefully crafted positioning statement and key messages articulate your brand promise in words.

Your verbal identity differs from your mission and vision statements. Your mission explains what you do and your vision describes what you aspire to accomplish. Your verbal identity authentically and clearly states who you are.

Sometimes referred to as your elevator speech, your verbal identity provides a common language and messaging about your school and what sets it apart.

Here are five reasons you need a verbal identity:

  1. Consistency in day-to-day communications — Talk about your school in a consistent manner by using your verbal identity as a touchstone for emails, speeches, articles, and other communications.
  2. Awareness through advertising — Develop a compelling creative platform and powerful advertising by pulling from the concepts in your verbal identity.
  3. Positive first impression through your website — Pull words, phrases, and messaging from your verbal identity throughout your site.
  4. Authentic marketing materials — Create marketing content—including viewbook copy, direct mail calls to action, and social media campaigns—that articulate your unique strengths.
  5. Resources for brand ambassadors — Provide close-in constituencies (administration, faculty, parents, volunteers, Board members and alumni) with your verbal identity in the form of an easy-to-use brand guide so they can speak the same language about your school.