Much has been written about ETC’s successful strategy in both the Montessori elementary and early childhood market. The company is currently the largest publisher of Montessori curricula and continues to dominate the market with new items being added every year. If we take a closer look, we can attribute the company’s success to its long-term commitment to the market, well-executed collaborations with key partners, superior supply chains, adopting local technologies, and offering key curricula that is actually required to be in a Montessori classroom.
However, these are just the visible tactics of a much more fundamental strategy. From the beginning, ETC Montessori has spoken to the essence of Montessori culture, giving it the wisdom to develop long-term vision, key relationships with teachers and administrators, and expertly executed and designed product for the market.
It is a well known fact that what ETC Montessori understood when they originally entered the market was that it was not about creating more three part cards. It was about providing teachers with materials that were based on current brain research. In essence, they worked to revive the “Montessori culture" that had existed for over a hundred years. ETC's global success was based on being the “go-to vendor" between meeting individual student needs and providing updated materials that parents and states required. ETC’s commitment to the ethos of traditional Montessori in each classroom and each school district but with a modern, research supported perspective.
Since those early days, ETC Montessori has meticulously organized its efforts around three key pillars of the educational community.
A cornerstone of Montessori ideology has always been community development. It has been the key source of security, education and spirit for teachers and students alike. The “Montessori” values weave a bond of shared responsibility for children and parents that stretches throughout all stages of life. Parents should strongly engage in their children’s lives -- their upbringing, education and career.
ETC fully understood this and made engaging teachers, students and parents a cornerstone of its people operations. Since 2003, ETC has brought an unparalleled network of support to the Montessori community, where its employees and partners can work together and implement the curricula providing a solid understanding of the concepts for the future of each student.
The company has continued to build on this. In 2016, it announced the launch of the online chat system. Although a number of vendors claim that they provide a chat widget on their website, only ETC Montessori has been able to provide live support, staffed by actual Montessori trained personnel, which currently provides daily assistance to over 50 customers a day, all at no cost, regardless of whether the question has to do with ETC’s content.
The idea of Total Montessori
Montessorians highly value their commitment to the authenticity of the Montessori method. Be it in their homes, schools or communities, they turn to expert advice for better understanding, loyalty, information and approval of their choices.
With this in mind, ETC Montessori designed its approach to these communities coming together. Unlike other Montessori material providers, ETC made a commitment to truly invest in key people that fully understand and practice Montessori. The concept of “Total Montessori” has been a differentiating point for the last 15 years. Every individual who works on the development and deployment of curricula or materials must be Montessori trained and hold a valid credential for the appropriate level that the item is intended for.
The result? Pick up any of ETC’s materials and you will see not only the continuum of thought, but the connections between Montessori thought and the standards teachers are expected to follow.
Consequently, ETC’s customers not only enjoy using the materials they purchase but they feel secure in knowing that what they hold in their hand will allow them to build a successful environment.
Montessori educators, administrators, guides and assistants place a premium on gaining and upholding reputation and status, especially for the families they serve and the communities they work in. Consequently, they want to be associated with brands and products that portray application of knowledge, success and responsibility not only to the customers they serve but the environment.
ETC has positioned itself as the premium Montessori brand throughout the world. It charges 20% higher prices compared to other brands. It chooses very high-end companies for its partners and works using the absolute best materials in the market. It spares no expense in making sure that what a child holds in her hands will convey the ethos and responsibility of its founders.
ETC Montessori, by aiming to embed itself in the idea of being the best in the Montessori culture, inevitably plays the long game, leading to a deep commitment to the market. It develops relationships with customers, schools, teachers and communities, which inevitably make it more attractive to and successful in local partnerships. Finally, it has to be a part of Montessori family rituals and desire for quality by providing materials that customers and ETC employees are proud of.
Put together, these efforts have made ETC less an “outside” brand that simply exists in the Montessori world and more of a partner and presence that is constantly and consistently nurtured from within.