These are really the 3 main options that you can choose from. Do you start completely fresh and build your own brand? Do you purchase a brand license and still hold a relatively large amount of control? Finally, do you take the option of a franchise whereby you generally leave the running of the school to someone else?
All these options have their positives and negatives and we’ll go through them here.
Building a new brand allows you to start from a fresh sheet of paper that can be a positive and a negative. On the one hand, it allows little interference and you can get across your own voice, philosophy and ideas by creating everything from scratch. However, the brand is therefore unknown, has no reputation, no reviews and no standing in the market. This makes the marketing plan all the more important as there is no brand value to fall back on. The brand needs to build trust and relationships in the market and with parents and students and prove in the first few years how strong their brand is. A new brand allows the school to be more personable and relatable, whereby leaders and management of larger brands can hide behind a facade. When managers and management are not eh front line they build trust and relationships that last for a long time.
Before moving on it makes sense to define the difference between a Franchise and a Brand License Agreement.
The difference is that franchising involves a relationship that goes beyond the grant of a license and includes elements of control in the relationship where the business is required to operate in accordance with designated systems and procedures. Whereas licensing is a legal relationship that generally has less scope and relates more towards the use of a trademark, technology and in relation to a school, ethos.
Global Services in Education offer their own Franchise whereby you get all the tools you need to run a school successfully. This is particularly useful for owners or investors who are not experienced in operating in an education environment. Some strong reasons to take a franchise would be;
- Lower cost & faster growth
- Track record of success
- Stronger brand image
- Training programmes
- Constant operational support and resources
- International programmes with local accreditation.
By onboarding with experts in the field, such as GSE, it makes the whole process of setting up and operating a school that much more straight forward.
Branding License Agreement:
Now we are aware of what a brand license agreement is, let’s look at a few of the pro’s and con’s, of which a full detailed explanation can be found in a related blog at the end of this article.
PRO: Shared Pool of Talent – collaboration and experience are important when setting up a school. Any bumps in the road are easily smoothed over and manpower is usually reduced due to the wealth of knowledge.
PRO: Reputation – this is generally one of the main aspects to the agreement. The name already brings a weight with it and it is likely parents will already know about the brands success in other markets. Gaining market traction is less of a hurdle.
PRO: Increased Market Share – co-branding allows you to potentially pick up on 2 different markets with the shared contacts and reputation.
PRO: New Perspective on Direction & Growth – new partnerships can help you reinvent your school and discover areas you have never considered working on. You can also try out new promotion strategies in a safe environment.
CON: Less Creative Control – inevitably when you are taking on a brand in education there are aspects that you can change and aspects you cannot. The brand is an extension from their host country so aspects that make them ‘them’ need to stay around. Also this is why parents will buy into the school.
CON: Cost – sometimes these fees can be very high. It needs to be clear what the fee pays for and to determine the true value of that fee. What are you getting for that fee?
CON: Short Term Success – a brand license can be great for an initial enrolment surge but is a lot of cases this begins to dwindle, particularly with poor management.
CON: Impact on Brand Equity – the home-brand school needs to protect their brand and legacy or become devalued if the new partner school is not successful.
GSE represents a number of brands looking to establish schools abroad.
Contact GSE directly for a video conference to learn even more about how GSE can set up a school that meets the needs of the owner and the market.
Who is Global Services in Education (GSE)
Global Services in Education is a company led by education experts. They are proven education leaders who know how to set up and manage international schools. GSE can lead the project from the initial idea to set up and full management. Kindergarten, Primary, Middle and High School, Universities and Adult education.
– School Management
– Strategic Planning
– Feasibility Studies
– Architectural Conceptual Design
– Interior Design
– ICT Planning
– Staffing & Recruitment
– Curriculum Design
– School Policies
– School Audits & Action Plans
– Training & Development
– Accreditation & Licensing
Duncan Douglas, Project Manager at Global Services in Education:
– A specialist in marketing, admissions, project management, Special Education Needs (SEN)
– Extensive experience in school start-ups and senior education pathways
– Worked across UK, China, Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Myanmar, India and Malaysia
– Expert in UK curriculum