Park School of Baltimore

  • Website - brand campaign, vignette slider series

  • Print advertising - magazine

  • Print advertising - copy close-up

  • Print advertising - brand campaign

  • Inspiration piece - front cover

  • Inspiration piece - initial fold-out

  • Inspiration piece - full fold-out

  • Inspiration piece - back cover

  • Admissions packet - folder, inside flap

  • Brand campaign - execution across communications channels

Project Description

Background
  • Kindergarten to Grade 12, coeducational private school located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Challenge
  • Changing climate and entrenched perceptions in Park’s suburban Baltimore market – already intensely competitive – made a strong, clear brand even more important.
  • Stubborn misperceptions of weak athletics and an “unstructured” math curriculum were impacting enrollment.
  • The market was aware that Park’s graduates went to impressive colleges, but paradoxically, Park got little credit for its role.
  • Staying true to Park’s progressive roots and culture that treasured “learning to think” while still demonstrating measurable and credible student outcomes.
Approach
  • Conducted focus groups and interviews with current parents and students, faculty, administrators, and trustees to develop a deep understanding of Park’s authentic and differentiating strengths.
  • Conducted in-depth interviews with key external audiences, including inquirers who didn’t apply, families who were admitted but went elsewhere, feeder schools and consultants, and college admissions officers, to determine current perceptions, decision criteria, and view of the competitive landscape.
  • Developed and market-tested brand positioning concepts that combined the school’s true strengths and values with what best-fit prospective families wanted from an educational experience for their child.
  • Presented to the internal project team the testing results and winning concept, now paired with three Supportive Messages, brand voice, and marketing recommendations.
  • Offered three creative options for a brand campaign and graphic identity to bring the positioning to life in different media, each with alternative taglines and creative themes.
  • Park chose the “Self. Discovered.” brand campaign, and we executed the campaign across advertising in Baltimore Magazine, an Inspiration print piece for recruiting and fundraising, an admissions folder, and the homepage carousel.
  • Recommended a series of thoughtful letters from the Head of School to prospective students at critical points in the consideration process to reinforce the brand and Supportive Messages.
  • Recommended an immediate alumni engagement program, inviting graduates to submit their own Park stories to share with prospective families during the admissions process.
  • Conducted Message Training with faculty and staff just prior to yield events.
Results
  • Increased inquiries and yield over previous years.
  • Successfully corrected market misperceptions. Market research three years out showed no mention of weaknesses in athletics or math.
  • Increased stature in the community and a palpable increase in confidence in staff and faculty, who finally had the words to express what they always knew to be special about Park.

Project Details

Client: Park School of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland

Tags: Brand Strategy, Copywriting, Creative Development and Design, Execution, Message Training, Print, Web

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