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“After take a tour, visitors often say to me: ‘it is impressive how everyone here speaks of the school in the same way. The spirit of the school is really clear.’ This cohesiveness is priceless.” – Sally Mixsell, Head of School, Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Sally Mixsell, the first alumna to serve as this private all-girls middle and high school’s Head of School, took the reins in July of 2008. One of her first moves was to hire Clarity to conduct a core identity, positioning and messaging exercise. On the strength of that project, Mixsell’s next step was to retain Clarity to lead an effort towards an integrated strategic plan. That work was finished by the end of the spring.

Clarity first. Then the team to leverage that clarity.

During the summer of 2009, Stoneleigh-Burnham devoted efforts to finding and hiring the right communications director. With our help, they found exactly the right person, and we coached her in understanding the school’s core brand promise and in using best-practice creative and content generation processes.

As she soared with our training, we became active members of her new school-wide communications team along with representation by admissions, alumni-relations, and development. We were thrilled when she routinely cited the Clarity Brand Study as integral to her work

Design and execute a full identity makeover

In the final stage of our project, we worked with this new team and selected freelancers to launch the development of the school’s next generation visual identity and communications system. This is a giant process for which agencies can charge over a million dollars. It included all of their primary communications vehicles, including brochures, banners, newsletter and website.

We stayed involved from the review and approval of the Creative Briefs for all projects, through the approval of the messaging and visual look and feel of the whole brand, including the user experience (UX) of the new website.

A graceful departure

In under two years, we had helped the school find brand clarity and use that clarity for strategic development. We had helped them build a hybrid in-house/freelance communications and marketing department and coached them through their first major project — an overhaul of the visual identity and communications system. They had a clear and shared understanding of their brand and the tools to use it. It was time for us to leave.