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Branding Local School Districts is a Little Over the Top


Businesses, products, and even governments can benefit from brand development, but do small school districts have the same need?

Did it surprise you to see that leaders of three new, independent school districts in Shelby County had created logos for the districts?

Arlington, Lakeland and Millington school districts actually now have logos. Come on. This branding business is getting silly.

Branding commercial enterprises and products is important. Even branding states and cities, such as "Virginia is for Lovers" and "The Big Apple," makes sense. State and local tourism is a huge commercial enterprise. But branding a school district in a town of fewer than eleven thousand people? Come on.

The obvious question is now that each of these school districts has its logo, what are they going to do with it?

Millington’s has a big M, much like the University of Memphis M, the Ole Miss M, the University of Michigan M, etc., etc. Lakeland has a teeny tiny sailboat and Arlington has a book and some trees in a circle. Arlington has only six elements, Millington has nine elements and Lakeland has only five elements in its logo. And each has a slogan.

The best thing about these exercises is that they didn’t hire professional designers and spend any money.

You have to wonder, though, with all the requirements of putting together new school systems in a matter of months, you’d think designing logos would be the least of their needs.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com

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