NAIS Branding 201: St. Marks Stops Talking and Starts Listening

The Second In A Three-Part NAIS Blog Series

The National Association of Independent Schools’s Independent School Magazine Blog published a three-part, brand strategy blog series, authored by EdwardsCo CEO and president Maria Kadison. In the series, Maria illustrates the process that three private schools—St. John's Episcopal School, New Canaan Country School, and St. Marks School—followed to develop and execute a brand strategy.

By reading this important series, independent schools can learn how to align their mission and brand to grow enrollment.

Go to NAIS.org to Read Part 2: How One School Stopped Talking and Started Listening

Synopsis. Part two, the focus shifts to a process schools can follow to understand the real drivers of school preference among prospective families.

“How One School Stopped Talking and Started Listening,” illustrates the how to do this with St. Mark’s School in Southborough, Massachusetts, during the development of a new brand positioning statement.

Chuck Greene, director of communications and marketing at St. Mark’s, explained why the well-endowed school decided to develop a brand strategy: “Branding, when done well, draws in the people for whom your product is perfect and sends away the people for whom it is a waste of their time.”

Chuck saw a significant advantage in conducting market research among prospective families.  From his standpoint,  having a strong brand strategy can help a school successfully attract more best-fit families,

“It really behooved us to understand what are the real motivations behind a family as they’re searching for the ideal educational experience for their student....And what are the intersections between what we can offer as a school and their needs and desires?”

Maria also talked with Chuck for a special edition of the EdwardsCo Insights podcast.  In his interview, Chuck focused on why and how the school approached identifying a brand strategy.

Listen to the podcast


Branding 101: Mirrors vs. Windows – Transforming Mission into Brand Strategy

Branding 201: How One School Stopped Talking and Started Listening

Branding 301: How to Make Your Brand Drive Enrollment Growth


To NAIS for the opportunity to provide our perspectives on brand strategy with your members.

And to Chuck Greene at St. Mark’s School for taking the time to share your valuable insights with your colleagues.



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