Comprehensive community-based college located in Livonia, Michigan, with a satellite campus in Garden City, Michigan.
Aggressive advertising by competitors drove the college’s urgency to differentiate itself in the marketplace.
Schoolcraft, like other community colleges, fell into the trap of using low price and convenience as the primary selling points.
Their previous research pointed to price and convenience as critical decision factors, BUT Schoolcraft was already known to be convenient and affordable, as were their regional competitors.
Advertising budgets increased every year, yet none of the colleges increased interest or enrollment.
Successful alumni rarely brag about starting at community college, leaving Schoolcraft’s success virtually invisible.
Quantitative research with over 1,600 respondents, including for-credit and non-credit current and prospective students, alumni, and regional employers.
Focus groups and in-depth interviews with current students, administration, faculty, staff, trustees, foundation members.
Our research digs deeper.
Discovered price and convenience were necessary butnot sufficient.
Students also deeply wanted to be proud of themselves and their institution. Sure, price and convenience were important, but feeling like they were “in college” and part of a college community were much more motivating and differentiating.
Prospective students wanted a challenge. They wanted to feel like they were going places. But they also recognized that they needed support to get there.
Created and tested brand positioning concepts.
Identified “Rigor with Support” as the winning concept and developed Supportive Messages, brand voice, and brand standards and guidelines to ensure consistent messaging across media and channels.
Created a powerful brand campaign and executed it through video, print and out-of-home advertising, environmental graphics, and spirit wear.
Conducted Message Training workshops with senior leadership, faculty, student tour guides, and staff from admissions, student services, and development.
Schoolcraft is the only regional college with steady or increasing enrollment for each of the last three years. All competitors have been decreasing.
The enthusiastic response from the internal community amplified word-of-mouth and increased school pride.
New Schoolcraft brand increased the overall effectiveness of their other communications, such as social media, led by the internal communications team.
Client: Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan
Tags: Brand Strategy, Creative Development and Design, Execution, Message Training, Print, Quantitative Market Research