Friday, January 25, 2013

Is Your School a Luxury Brand?

Allow me to begin with an analogy...
No one is willing to spend $3000 on a handbag that is being sold from the back of a truck in an alleyway. When someone is willing to spend $3000 on a handbag, they go to Louis Vuitton. Not simply because Louis Vuitton is known for making quality handbags, but also for the experience. Have you ever seen a Louis Vuitton store? The one near me in Korea is quite an experience for the shopper. First, only two couples are allowed into the store at one time, because LV is going to give personal attention to each customer. The salesperson will offer you tea, coffee, juice, or water. There is no rushing or pushing to buy. It is a calm, relaxing environment. If you do decide to make a purchase, extras are thrown in for free -- extra straps, name tags, etc. Luxury brands get away with charging what they do, because they provide a quality product and a quality experience in purchasing the product. 

The fact is that in international education most of us work in very expensive private schools. And as much as we possibly don't like to think about it, there is some marketing that needs to be done. When parents drop a large amount of money on a child's education, they deserve to feel like they are getting what they are paying for plus some extras. One thing that doesn't impress is nickel and dime-ing families. Stop and think about your school. Is it a luxury brand offering a luxury experience? Or, is it a luxury brand being sold out of the back of a truck in an alleyway? Are you charging for services that should be included as extras?