SML Christian Academy
Students, Students, Students
SML Christian Academy (formerly St Matthews Lutheran Academy) was having an issue with enrolment. They were the longest standing school in Alberta at nearly 110 years old, but because they had fewer than 80 students enrolled in the 2013/14 school year their fundign was at risk. They needed to do something quickly so they could continue to operate.
Task - Overcoming a Century
With over a century of experience and emotional attachment to the semi-original branding, combined with many stakeholders within the community: current teachers and staff, current and former students, and the Lutheran Church, we had conflicting needs and viewpoints. We needed to come up with a plan to meet and exceed everyone's expectations. The Church and Lutheran community did not want to take away from the faith based theming, but realized that it was not, in its current form, connecting with the general public. Additionally, there was a lack of knowledge about SML was offering and therefore it was not percieved as an option for anyone outside the Lutheran community. They ultimatley wanted to reach out to the greater Christian Community.
Challenge - Lowest enrollment in decades affecting funding
Our first meeting with the school was in February 2014. It was revealed that there was a sense of exclusion stemming from the name St. Matthew’s Lutheran School resulting in low enrolment numbers. The reality was that the school would accept students of any faith. So it was left to ThinkTANK to build a whole new brand for the school – SML Christian Academy became the new moniker. Yes, it stood for St Matthew’s Lutheran, but the bigger picture brought forth three words: Share, Mentor, Learn. These words were chosen to represent the school’s values and goals but had already been a part of the foundation for years.
Campaign - Rebrand and online presence overhaul
The entire scope of work included:
- Developing a new brand
- Designing new internal and external branded marketing material, including new stationary and new signage for the school building
- Developing a new website that was marketing centric, easy to use and communicated the refreshed look of the new brand making it appeal to a wider audience.
Result - A 40% increase in enrollment
After the brand launch which included a new logo and identity system combied with all the internal and external marketing and a fresh website, the school experienced a surge in new admissions for the 2014/15 school year, bringing their enrolment to nearly 130. A successful and immediate rebrand.
Where are they today?
We keep on top of the client and they have seen continued growth in enrollment and potential renovations to meet the new needs of their school.