Recruiting Messages And Brand Positioning Are Not The Same

Recruiting insight in brief from EdwardsCo

Parents invest in private education to fulfill their long-term hopes and dreams for their child. Their dreams include things like happiness, personal fulfillment, and professional success.

“I want my child to be a happy, confident, successful adult someday.”

“I want my child to feel that she can be anything she wants to be.”

“I want my child to be a doctor.”

The achievement of these hopes and dreams requires many small steps and can be approached from a variety of pathways.

Parents are looking for a trusted partner in education, with the appropriate values or culture, to help steward their child toward these long-term objectives.


  • Brand positioning inspires interest by aligning a school’s promise with the target market’s ultimate hopes and dreams. Brand can also reflect an institution’s culture, values, or philosophical approach. These are high-level concepts with a longer-term horizon.
  • Recruiting messages, however, focus on more concrete and short-term objectives or attributes such as academic rigor, quality of major, support services, college or career placement, small class sizes, competitive athletics, etc.
  • While the prospect compiles a list of the attributes that he or she believes will have the greatest likelihood of fulfilling aspirations, an institution has to make the case that it will fulfill these short-term objectives differently and better than the competition.
  • Recruiting messages offer tangible reasons that a prospective family should choose one institution over all others; the brand positioning provides the context – the long-term objective the school delivers against.
  • Brand and recruiting messages are not the same, but they must work together cohesively to make a differentiating, inspiring, and compelling case for investing in an education at the institution.

Brand and Recruiting Messages = Promise and Deliver

Effective marketing pulls brand and recruiting messages together with a compelling story line that answers critical questions:

  • What is the PROMISE of your school? High-level, inspiring, focused on the longer-term impact
  • HOW do you deliver on that promise better and differently than competitors?
  • What is the special ENVIRONMENT in which you deliver?
  • What is the PROOF that you deliver?

Learn More

Read our case studies to learn more our approach to developing recruitment messages.

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