Atlanta North School, an excellent school nestled in a suburban Atlanta community, had a problem: Enrollment was struggling, despite the fact that the school offers superior academics, hard-working teachers, a proven curriculum, and a vibrant, energetic culture. So what was the problem? Nobody knew the school was there. Located on a busy road behind a church, the school was difficult to see, and its signage and other elements were not eye-catching.

The id8 team used Experiential Design—our proven process of gathering information and unique customer insights by putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes—to assess the school’s experience as if we were parents enrolling our child. From the sign on the street to the condition of the front door to the interior decor, the team looked at everything. The findings from that exercise, along with the information gathered during the discovery session, revealed that parents want a vibrant, modern school. And although Atlanta North possesses those qualities in its faculty, curriculum, and culture, they were not reflected in its appearance. Instead, the school came across as dated.

To capture the school’s inner spirit, the id8 team started with branding—a new logo with a bold mark, a bright color palette, and brand guidelines, as well as positioning and messaging. With those elements in place, the team designed corporate materials, signage, and wall décor.

The team also built a new website—a critical component because it is used by most parents to research before calling the school. The new website is current and modern, both in imagery and operation—fully responsive to be mobile friendly.

The results have been jaw-dropping. After incorporating the newly branded design elements, updating the school’s appearance, and launching the website, enrollment has skyrocketed, nearly doubling in one year. The school has realized a return on investment of over 2,300 percent—yes, you heard it.

The new website continues to be a strong source for marketing the school’s assets and funneling potential parents to call or schedule a tour. The last open enrollment was standing room only, with parents asking to prepay for the following school year to ensure their child would have a spot. Through rebranding and experiential design, the value of this wonderful school is now obvious to everyone.

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