RESULT: Highest application pool in the history of the school.
“Defining a single, unifying brand was especially challenging for our school as we pride ourselves on our somewhat quirky culture. Turnaround Marketing invested the time to get to know us and the patience to help us work through the process. The result is a brand identity that resonates with all our constituents—from older alums to brand-new students. Turnaround truly functioned as our partner in the process, guiding and challenging us while demonstrating that ‘branding’ for an independent school isn’t about slicker packaging. It is about letting the school’s uniqueness shine.”
— Lisa Grider, Director of Institutional Advancement, Newark Academy, Livingston, NJ
Newark Academy is a coed day school for grades 6-12, which was founded in 1774 in Newark but is now located in Livingston, New Jersey. As with many schools that retain our services, Newark Academy came to Turnaround for a new enrollment strategy but soon realized the benefits of embarking on brand development first. Starting from a position of strength, NA wanted to take the next step in communications and marketing with all of its constituents. The school embraced the brand messaging, graphic identity, and marketing advice that Turnaround delivered and subsequently incorporated not only in a new viewbook but also in a new website. As a result, Newark Academy is well on its way to reaching higher levels of constituent engagement and motivation.
Among the goals of the NA enrollment project were to develop materials that could target prospective parents and students separately while establishing a cohesive brand, all in a cost-effective way. A key feature was to show the school’s blend of intellectualism with a sense of humor, reflected in the distinguishing characteristic of “Intellectual Power, Intellectual Play.” Together with Andrea Lehman, frequent strategy and writing partner, Turnaround developed an innovative viewbook that can be read by parents starting from one cover and by students starting from the other (i.e., “from back to front”). The fun, attention-grabbing format underscores the intellectual playfulness of this creative school and enables brand messages to be delivered in ways that are accessible to each audience. The NA story is told to prospective parents primarily through text, testimonials, and proof points, while prospective students are invited to graze on quick, graphic “reasons why NA students love NA.” According to Willard L. Taylor, Jr., Director of Admission for Newark Academy, “We are very happy with the viewbook and search piece Turnaround collaborated with us to create. We were very impressed with the time Turnaround spent to get to know Newark Academy and our culture prior to putting together the pieces. Families have enjoyed the dual functionality of our viewbook and commented on the cleverness of the ‘flip style.’ Liza, Rob, and the entire Turnaround team made the process go smoothly, were quality focused, deadline conscious, and a real pleasure to work with.” In its first year of using the new viewbook, Newark Academy enjoyed the highest application pool in the history of the school.
After Turnaround developed Newark Academy's brand and enrollment strategies, the school asked us to consult on the website, which was being redesigned. Turnaround created the new homepage and provided guidance on interior pages to incorporate key components used in the viewbook, such as targeting prospective parents and students separately and using photography that reflects the energy found in classrooms—all with an eye to maximizing the visitor experience. From big-picture suggestions, such as how to highlight the school’s new brand messages and graphic identity front and center, to fine-tuned details to address particular issues, such as adding grade ranges to make NA’s middle school more prominent, Turnaround helped Newark Academy get the most from its website redesign.