The Summit Country Day School
A test of our strategic thinking.
CHALLENGE: The CD challenge was to help a venerable Cincinnati Catholic school communicate its distinctiveness in an increasingly competitive landscape, resulting in an advantage in student recruitment.
IDEA: While Summit Country Day has much to offer, including a beautiful urban campus and state championship-level sports, our idea was to establish the benefits of a SCD education that aren’t immediately apparent, but revealed through students’ acts of self-sacrifice and leadership. Our idea was to establish the Summit brand around turning students into leaders.
STORY: The Summit Country Day School is Cincinnati’s only independent Catholic school educating children from pre-school through the 12th grade. Founded in 1890, Summit has recently seen increased competition for students from a number of newer schools. Enrollment was declining, especially between 1st and 8th grade.
Their point of difference is developing students of high moral character under a strict program of academic rigor.
The objectives were clearly established. Our task was to refresh the SCD brand with a new identity and visualization framework that elevate their key point of difference to prospective and existing families. Increase the easy recognition of the Summit brand within a crowded marketplace of competing private and parochial schools. And to forge a deeper sense of affiliation among current and prospective community members.
We were faced with a number of challenges. Chief among these was Summit’s history which, while admirable, needed to take a secondary role in informing our brand refresh. Research indicated that Summit’s innovative teaching and progressive administration mattered more to potential families.
We presented to the Summit marketing committee a number of conceptual approaches, then finalized the SCD brand with a new visualization framework that celebrates their points of difference. Our work included refreshed identity, complete brand guidelines including essence pyramid, and website design.
The brand guideline formalized brand promise, organizational values, written tone of voice, tag line, and proper use of graphics, typography and photography. Second, we created a broad campaign of branded touchpoints.
The resulting elements, based on strong Creative Department thinking and precise design execution, position the brand strongly for competition for the hearts and minds of both parents and students. Our success was driven by a combination of old-school hard work and new school vision.