Often when I talk about branding, people conjure up images of their logo. They think of the color palette of their website. But branding is more than just the colors you use, it’s the ‘personality’ of your business. It encompasses your personal and business values, your mission, the service you want to offer and – most importantly – how you want your customers to feel.
I was chatting with my daughter earlier this week about the fact that sometimes people will forget a daycare name but they’ll remember the owners. While a name may be forgotten they remember the WHO – the “Who” that runs that business. And if they had a positive experience, they’ll remember how they FELT.
One of the ways you can help them remember the experience of being in your daycare – whether that’s for a tour or once they’re moving on – is making it sensory. And that’s what I’m focusing on in today’s blog and over on my YouTube “Monday Moves
“. Read on!
Using your five senses to up your branding game
You’ve got an opportunity to really hit your clients and potential clients in all their sensory areas with your branding!Ad agencies and marketing businesses have been talking about this for a while. Sensory branding (also known as multisensory marketing) is proving to be a very effective way to captivate your audience. This can be a marvellous way to make your childcare brand unforgettable.
The reason it’s so impactful is that some people love looking at visuals, while others prefer audio, and then you’ve got others who are attracted to touch or smell. All these sensory preferences can be utilized in your marketing. You can grab their attention by creating products and services that tap into their sensory leanings. It’s all about enhancing your customer experience.
Sight and visual branding
Think about the experience you want your families to have in your care. What do you want to be remembered for? If you’re all about the fun and your personality is loud and proud, why wouldn’t you want your daycare to be the same? Let your personality shine through! Use color and materials to liven up the visual experience! Or if you’re a kinda zen individual whose whole being is about calm and meditation, let that come out in your decor.
Use light – from windows or from lamps – to make your daycare a feast for the imagination. Drape fabric from the ceilings to create a different look. Use mirrors to enhance the space and stimulate play!
And while we’re talking about visuals…I know I said logos aren’t the be-all and end-all, BUT…
Are you making sure your visual branding is on everything you do? You want people to remember you and your business. Ensure that your logo is on all your signs and posters. Put it on any window stickers you might have displayed. If you or the kids wear uniforms, is the color on-brand? Is your logo on the kit? Think about giving your children a special branded daycare tote or book-bag. This is essentially free advertising because they’re carrying it all round town before and after their day with you!
Make sure that your logo is on all your communications – paper or digital. Use it in your email signature (tutorial here
!). Is the logo on your header image of your social media? Do you use your logo and brand colors on things you share online?
Smell in your branding
Okay, I know this might sound a little weird. Bear with me! But y’all know that real estate agents often bake cookies in the homes they’re trying to sell, so why don’t we do this kinda thing too?!
When you consider the practical smells of a day care – diapers, concoctions of mealtimes, and all that jazz – you might want to think about the smell of your daycare. This is particularly important for visits, but branding your daycare smell matters all the time! You don’t want parents to be gasping for breath when they leave the space. Wouldn’t it be lovely for them to walk in and be given a totally sensory experience of a diffuser with essential oils that soothe the soul? It might also have a positive impact on the kids too! I know I love to walk into my daycare and breathe in whatever delights are in the diffuser each morning!
Taste in your branding
Speaking of baking…Imagine you’re taking your families on a tour around your daycare and having cookies to takeaway with your logo on!? You want to be remembered, and people remember what they’ve tasted.
You can get personalized branded candy or you could do it on a budget, by bulk buying penny sweets and putting them in a pretty bag with a logo sticker on! Or if you’re really focusing on healthy eating, have fruit with your stickers on! Bottles of water with your daycare name on work really well too!
Making your business memorable is what it’s about!
Touch in your branding
Have pens or pencils and other promotional items that you can put your business logo on. Whether you purchase these or DIY, using things they touch and hold to help people remember your childcare business is a great idea!
Parents can take these away, and will be signing checks or writing notes in meetings and someone might notice and ask them about your daycare. Being at the forefront of their minds is helpful when they’re in the process of decision-making where to send their precious kids off while they go to work. If you’ve made the parents feel amazing, and they’ve got something to physically hold and remember you by, they’re more likely to call you up and book on!
Sound in your branding
Don’t panic, I’m not suggesting you go and have a jingle made for the local radio station (anyone else now got Smelly Cat stuck in their head?). What I mean is using sound to enhance the sensory experience of your daycare. People tend to associate darcares with a screechy sound track of nursery rhymes that hark back to the 1980s. So why not think about what music fits the vibe of your daycare?
Think about your own favorite shopping experiences. What music do you hear in those places? Why does it feel good? And then consider how you want your kids and families to feel in your very own daycare centers. Perhaps your could play something that fits the theme? Ambient jungle sounds or rainforest background noise. Or maybe some calming Mozart? Or perhaps you love music from your country of origin and want that to be what people remember.
And of course YOU!
Let’s not forget what I said at the start. YOU are your brand. I think it’s important that you’re “branded” and visible in your local community so that both get associated with each other. I run into that a lot. People will say to me, “Oh yeah Miss Nyckie’s day care! I remember that place” and even though they may have forgotten the venue’s name they remember me and the way I made them feel!
So do make sure you get yourself out there and known in your community and be your brand! Branding isn’t just your childcare venue but it covers you too!
How do you feel about your current daycare branding? Are you utilizing all the sensory experiences you could be? I’d love to chat with you over in the Facebook group about it!
If you want to hang out with like-minded and aspirational childcare business owners, come and get involved in the community over on Facebook! Join us for more tips on how to make your childcare business the success it deserves to be! Or if you prefer Instagram, we share ideas and tips there too. We’re an army of childcare professionals who are sharing ninja-sharp skills to transform our businesses into childcare empires! This is Childcare Ownership all Grownup!