The National Academy of Health and Business, a career college in Mississauga, came to kitestring before they planned to open a new campus in Hamilton looking to rebrand to compete amongst the top tier career colleges in the region.
However, like many clients looking to breath fresh life into their tired brand that no longer attracts, resonates or represents their target audience any longer, they were hesitant to abandon a look and feel the owners had inherited, grown attached and accustom to.
In truth, National Academy was holding onto a poorly designed, unattractive visual identity and an inconsistent voice, resulting in a disjointed way of presenting itself that lacked vision and goals.
kitestring completed in-depth competition research that examined the top tier career college’s brands and how their target audiences, like potential students perceived them. kitestring took the necessary steps to really immerse itself in the competition’s processes and analysed the tactics that they used to attract students through multiple mediums. We combined our lived experiences with the competition and our analysis of the competition’s advertisements, signage, location design, website, messaging, and social media presence. We measured what worked for these top tier colleges and what was unsuccessful. We then used our research findings to explore new and fresh ways to make National Academy not only compete amongst top tier career colleges, but differentiate themselves by accentuating their unique qualities.
Strategy Meets Creative
The culminating activity of rebranding process was when kitestring revived National Academy’s brand position, pulling from all aspects of the rebrand. The newly imagined brand position was influenced by the brand’s new traits, voice, communication themes and visual identity:
A private college with a three dimensional approach to learning; National Academy of Health and Business provides each individual student with the tools, skills, and opportunities to shape their tomorrow. This college understands that their students need to master marketable skills promptly, in a supportive, contemporary environment. National Academy has been guiding students through their programs towards chosen career paths for almost 30 years. Originally located solely in the Greater Toronto Area, National Academy took a fresh step forward in rebranding before expanding into the Hamilton market. Their modern, solid, and connected brand will integrate into their existing locations in the GTA, creating a fresh perspective for current and prospective students looking to form positive futures.
The style of the National Academy brand was developed to convey continual movement, solid support, collaborative growth, and a twist of modernity. The style of the visual identity is very geometric; shapes connecting together finding support against one another and promoting upward thinking.
The visual identity of the brand introduces and symbolizes the “three dimensional education” approach that National Academy is already proud to offer its students, but is now visual engrained as part of the school’s philosophy.
The shape also adds a modern twist to the classic, crisp and clean font. The elements of the brand icon work in tandem with font, colour and communication style to communicate a seamless, experiential brand that easy lends itself to expand into all the senses.
The National Academy brand speaks with a voice that singles out and relates to the minds of the potential student, it individualizes the life of each student, it recognizes the pains and desires of National Academy prospective and current students, and alumni. The themes communicated through the National Academy voice are ones of understanding the individual, the importance of student success throughout the school experience and beyond, and that of shaping lives for the better.
This memorable statement, “Shape your tomorrow” acts as the tagline for the new National Academy brand. In the previous brand rationale, the themes of geometric shapes, continual movement and support are brought to life in this concise hope for an empowered future for each student touched by National Academy.
Results and Reaction
The Hamilton National Academy campus exceeded enrolment goals with over 100 students in their first year and kitestring helped make significant strides in National Academy’s social media campaign. The National Academy Facebook page started with zero ‘likes’ and now has over 2,200 and counting.