The Purpose of a Verbal Identity

Ingrid Tripple
Strategy & Branding

Is your school community having trouble communicating its core strengths in a consistent, concise way? Do you need a tool to help everyone get on the same page from a marketing perspective? If so, the solution is a verbal identity.

What is a verbal identity?

A verbal identity is a carefully crafted positioning statement and three key messages that articulate your brand promise in words and distinguish you from the competition.

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.

How is a verbal identity used? (This is your “Aha” Moment…)

  • Day-to-day communications — Talk about your school in a consistent manner by using your verbal identity as a touchstone for email, speeches, articles, and other communications.
  • Advertising — Create awareness about your school (general, open house, summer camp) by developing compelling brand statements for ad copy that are taken from concepts in your verbal identity.
  • Website — Pull words, phrases, and messaging from your verbal identity and integrate them throughout your website to make a positive first impression.
  • Marketing materials — Create authentic marketing content—including viewbook copy, search piece copy, correspondence with accepted and enrolled students, direct mail calls to action, and social media campaigns—that articulate your unique strengths.
  • Brand Guide — 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 and be your best brand ambassadors.