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Exchange Classic: Positioning Your Center

If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
William H. McRaven, US Admiral

In the September 1992 issue of Child Care Information Exchange (now Exchange magazine), Julie Wassom wrote about "How to Be Bullish on Marketing Child Care in a Challenging Economy," offering this timeless advice on connecting with prospective parents . . .

"Positioning is the impression created in the minds of your customers and prospects by the image you communicate. Sometimes that impression has no real base in reality. For instance, a major airline learned in a customer survey that passengers who found the tray tables dirty immediately assumed that the engines were not well maintained. In a feelings-based business like child care, your parents want to feel they can trust you. To enroll or remain as customers, they need to believe that you will do what you say you will.

"What can make the difference between how you and one of your competitors are positioned in your prospect's mind are often not the big things like convenience, staff tenure, or program. Look carefully at the little things around your center.  Does it smell good when parents first walk in?  Are enrollment or special program banners left hanging for weeks with one corner torn and flapping in the breeze?  Is someone always up front to greet parents at regular pick-up and drop-off times?"

Wassom has contributed over 30 Exchange magazine articles across a span of four decades. Some are included in the Exchange Essentials, "Strategies for Promoting Your Program" and in The Art of Leadership: Promoting Early Childhood Services.

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