Stoke College is an independent day and boarding school based in Suffolk for boys and girls aged 11-18. Set in private parkland overlooking the River Stour, it enjoys proximity to Cambridge and has academic connections with the University. It is noted for its Scholarship Programme, Learning Development Centre and affordable fees.
The agency’s brief was to rebrand or, more accurately, reposition the College, defining its place in the educational world and refining the perceptions of potential applicants. We were also asked to create a promotional campaign that would invite applications through open and taster days and increase intake, especially to the sixth form and amongst overseas applicants.
The rebrand was to emphasise that gaining a place at Stoke was not a soft option or free ride. Rather that entry qualifications are high, yet achievable by academically minded and motivated individuals, and that fees are applicable yet affordable.
We recommended that the best way to enhance the College’s reputation was to build on its strengths, notably its outstanding academic record (90% passes at A – A* Level) and university connections with Corpus Christi College and the scholarships within its gift.
We did this firstly by developing a strapline that encompassed the ethos of the College – ‘Individual Attention, Academic Achievement’ to be used on the College’s website, banner-up promotions, press and social media advertising.
We also recommended that building a brand (and the many aspects of it Stoke College wanted to communicate), was properly the job of an advertising campaign. We therefore created advertising messages promoting key aspects of the College’s offer, such as:
- Life Skills
- Aspiration and Ambition
- Quality of Teaching
- Pastoral Care
- Sixth Form Scholarships
- Learning Development Centre
- Location / Facilities
Examples of the advertisements we created with these themes are shown alongside. To these brand advertisements we also added flashes advertising taster and open days as the occasion demanded.
The client was delighted with the repositioning of the College and felt that the right messages were being communicated to the target audience. The effectiveness of the campaign has also been borne out by the increase in attendances at open and taster days, and increased intake of applicants.