How a Creative Platform Elevates Your School’s Brand

Nancy McDonald
Strategy & Branding

In the competitive market in which today’s independent schools operate, prospective families respond best to marketing that is drawn from an authentic, engaging creative platform.

A creative platform is a unifying concept that expresses who you are through carefully written brand statements in headline form paired with inspiring visuals that work as a cohesive system for telling your story.

A creative platform contains messaging, precise wording, style of photography, typography, and other design elements that clearly express your brand. It provides a strategic approach to creating advertising, web content, admissions materials, and more. It provides a roadmap and direction for all of your marketing.

Seven Elements of an Effective Creative Platform

  1. Informed: It needs to be insightful and drawn from your strengths. It must focus on and elevate what you do best.
  2. Memorable: It needs to be distinctive and engaging. Draw prospects in with inspired creativity. It’s what will set you apart.
  3. Authentic: It needs to ring true. If what you’re selling doesn’t resonate with your closest people, it will never work.
  4. Robust: It needs depth. Shallow concepts will quickly get muddled and diluted.
  5. Adaptable: It needs to work for all of your audiences, like the art department, athletics, and lest we forget, fundraising.
  6. Lasting: It needs to work for many years. Allow the platform to evolve and grow, refreshing the look and feel rather than starting over every year.
  7. Stewarded: It needs to have an owner: someone whose job it is to mind the borders and make the judgment call about what is inside and what veers outside the lines.