St. Paul’s School

Project Description

Background
  • Grade 9  to 12 coeducational boarding school located in Concord, New Hampshire.
Challenge
  • Growing interest by St. Paul’s leadership in broadening the base of its applicants.
  • The schools in St. Paul’s competitive set appeared equal on many critical attributes, impeding recruiting efforts.
  • Finding a meaningful point of difference that would draw more students to inquire and apply had become a top priority.
  • Questions about how to most effectively convey the complexity and richness of St. Paul’s to support enrollment objectives increased as the urgency to take action mounted.
Approach
  • Conducted in-depth market research among current parents through on-campus focus groups.
  • Interviewed admissions counselors, competitors, feeder schools, prospective parents, alumni, and current parents to clarify perceptions about St. Paul’s strengths and unique characteristics.
  • Partnered with an internal project team to review research insights and discuss opportunities for the school to leverage within the framework of a new brand strategy.
  • Developed potential brand positioning concepts, each encapsulating a different unique and motivating characteristic that St. Paul’s delivered exceptionally well.
  • Tested concepts with recently enrolled families and identified the positioning which best represented the driving reason these families had selected St. Paul’s: an approach that encourages individual exploration of learning and life, grounded by a sense of responsibility to others.
  • Crafted a winning positioning statement based on testing results, as well as Supportive Messages to guide all future communication.
  • Created a brand campaign and new tagline, “Freedom with Responsibility,” to quickly convey the school’s new brand positioning.
  • Hosted Message Training sessions with leadership, faculty, and staff to help them learn to communicate the brand positioning and Supportive Messages authentically and enthusiastically, in their own words.
  • Focused on tour guide training to ensure the messages shared at this critical point of interaction reinforced the brand positioning.
  • Developed, designed, and produced other admissions and marketing pieces based on the “Freedom with Responsibility” brand campaign.
Results
  • The internal community embraced “Freedom with Responsibility,” and St. Paul’s new brand strategy served as the foundation for overall institutional strategy, planning, and development.
  • The combination of Message Training and the new brand campaign contributed to two years’ straight of the best admission rates in the school’s history.

Project Details

Client: St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire

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

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