Phillips Exeter Academy

  • Branding - personality-rich photography

  • Branding - personality-rich photography

  • Branding - personality-rich photography

  • Branding - intense inquiry. Viewbook cover

  • Branding - intense inquiry. Viewbook, information-rich

  • Branding - intense inquiry. Viewbook, cutout cards

  • Grade 9 to 12, coeducational boarding school located in Exeter, New Hampshire.
  • Despite its global reputation, Phillips Exeter Academy faced fierce competition among the elite schools for high-ability students.
  • While proud of its impeccable reputation for student achievement, Exeter wanted to be known for more.
  • Reputation as a “grind school” or a “machine” caused some prospective families to question the school’s commitment to student wellness.
  • Conducted market research to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the decision criteria of qualified prospective parents and students.
  • Created a profile of best-fit families who prioritized an educational experience of intense inquiry but one that also encouraged a true love for the exploration of issues and ideas.
  • Created a brand strategy based on humanizing yet embracing Exeter’s culture of intensity, an intensity fueled from within rather than imposed from without.
  • Recommended a more personal and thoughtful recruiting approach, from the moment of inquiry, to counterbalance perceptions of high stress.
  • Produced a series of non-traditional inquiry-response letters for the Admission Office that spoke to Exeter’s values and approach to learning.
  • Created a dense but high-energy viewbook that reflected the culture of deep exploration and an intensity that motivates rather than crushes.
  • Created a photo library of personality-rich portraits of all the types of students who thrive at Exeter.
  • Yield jumped from 59% to 63% in one year, a record for the school.
  • At on-campus yield events, families personally thanked director of admissions for the thoughtful inquiry response letters they received.
  • The number and proportion of best-fit families in their applicant pool increased, allowing Exeter to be more selective based on fit.

Client: Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire

Tags: Brand Strategy, Copywriting, Creative Execution, Creative Platform and Design, Print

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