DuBois Central Catholic
DuBois Central Catholic is a local Catholic school that, following national trends had been experiencing a decline in enrollment.
They were in need of a new logo and identity system upgrade as well as a marketing, development and creative direction plan.
As an intensive multi-year project Mary & Ferrari graphic design embarked on a massive design strategy and implementation plan seeking to achieve many goals.
• Re-establish the brand. Increase enrollment.
• Develop an identity system that could be quickly and easily utilized by multiple committees and administrators without losing brand and development focus by giving creative direction.
• Develop an adaptive creative strategy for growth that could keep up with trends in a changing market.
• Develop a strong adaptive niche to differentiate the school from competitors.
As a team, we tackled many internal projects and I developed a unique organic search for a basic logo identity based on student input by sending out a simple questionnaire to be completed by student participants in selected grade levels.
The current identity wasn't clearly established. As a newer combined school, it had a long area history but a different administrative approach. I had to quickly narrow core strengths, while retaining its historical brand value, which was preserved in the name and help re-establish the brand. The brand value was going to be reflected through its consumers, the students. The committee brief identified business objectives and current market dilemmas but the brand had to be unique, retain historical brand value, and true.
After a logo was chosen reflecting the number one identifier as chosen by students (joy), and their mission, Catholic, style mock-ups were created and within these outlines I began creating an identity package for the school.
An unorthodox initial identity package was quickly implemented after a request to take advantage of a yearly event which required me to think out of the box for a presentation plan to unveil the newly chosen logo. The logo was presented via a video presentation during a school assembly for which I created some basic marketing products in lieu of the customary stationery package. The event was a success which attracted front page coverage for the school in the local media and offered a fast start to their new campaign.
A poster, bookmark and magnet were designed to reach parents as first-line representatives in this new brand strategy, thank the students for their input and also to reach the greater public during Catholic School Week, a nationwide publicity initiative. The poster was useful to take advantage of wide publicity generated during such campaigns and was placed in local churches and local businesses. The campaign was featured front page in the local press and gave the school a quick low cost but far reaching identity boost as they introduced their new brand campaign.
A short time later the customary stationery packages were created along with other printed products by various outside vendors (not shown) and myself. Design development strategy continued with Phase 2.
achieving their goals
With their final print choices established we moved on to helping DuBois Central Catholic achieve a strong market presence.
Establishing The Brand And Targeted Development
As the project progressed to a multi-year design consultation project and market strategy we developed several tools to further help the school achieve a cohesive brand strategy which included:
- basic brand style guidelines/logo implementation handbook
- advertising guidelines
- two market surveys (in house and greater community)
This will help the school maintain their brand well into the future with no loss of focus for effective communication but one that can also adapt quickly in a rapidly changing market, school choice. As this differential can change based on brand performance, adaptive market focus tools help keep the brand true.
core strength strategy
- We determined how best to present the school based on a preferred educational choice and motivating factors which was extracted data through an in-house online market survey created by Mary & Ferrari and sent to parents of attending students to further help identify core strengths in a competitive education market environment. This survey can be used repeatedly to track school satisfaction trends and will enable the school to quickly update marketing strategies as needed within their brand identity system.
- I also created several ads for guidance to outer agencies and other vendors on how best to present the school based on that survey. They were later placed on several local billboards in high traffic areas and in local ads. Television ads were also created. A wider strategy was developed.
coherent creative direction
One of the objectives of the board was to keep several committees and administrators focused on achieving the directives as outlined above. Giving them a clear picture of what the new brand is by identifying their core strengths visually, helps the administration achieve that as well as establishing creative direction for many in- house creators and outside vendors, as the school has no in house creative direction department. This was meant to lend support to help prevent their past approach of various names, logos, many tag-lines and too many incoherent creative directions.
Future Implementation Projects
We later helped develop market strategies based on a broader market survey undertaken by an inter-school volunteer marketing committee.
With further consultation we helped develop various campaign approaches guiding numerous administrators how to best integrate those survey results in house which included:
- classroom activities
- and community outreach
The goal was to keep every member of the school communications and marketing team on point, and filter the defined objectives to all members of school administration who would be implementing them further, including teachers and students in their classroom activities, ending their ineffective, piecemeal brand identity and development strategy approach.
Impact and results
Today the school is enjoying:
- A re-established and revitalized brand.
- Increased enrollment and growth, rebounding quickly after a multi year period of steep decline.
- Their brand identity is rapidly expanding yet adaptive to both success and future trends keeping the brand true and always maintaining core strengths.
- Identifying their core strengths enabled them to establish a strong market niche in a very competitive environment.
- Their identity is readily visible on school uniforms, other basic identity items, throughout the community and beyond.
- Their identity and development system is easily implemented by many.
- Their new identity is easily recognizable in the community and by alumni with no loss to their established history and perceived brand value.
Together, Mary & Ferrari helped DuBois Central Catholic achieve a comprehensive brand strategy implemented from the near-zero starting point of a previously ineffective and piecemeal approach, offering great return on investment for the school that will serve them well for many years to come.