Since 1995, Martin Luther School has been on a steadfast mission to enrich families and share Christ through quality lutheran education. To say they’ve been successful is an understatement. Over the course of the last 28 years, this private, Lutheran school has provided a comprehensive education to children in preschool through seventh grade.

What makes Martin Luther School (MLS) different is their distinctive approach to academics, coupled with their commitment to teaching the future leaders of tomorrow. MLS stands out by blending rigorous academic excellence with a nurturing, family environment that encourages students to explore their full potential. Their approach goes beyond traditional teaching methods; it fosters critical thinking, creativity, and leadership skills from an early age.

The Challenge

Despite MLS’s wholehearted dedication to their mission and the exceptional quality of their educational programs, they found themselves grappling with a student recruitment issue. In a world where parents have numerous educational choices to choose from, MLS needed a solution to distinguish themselves, to convey their unique value, and to attract families who shared their vision for nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. In an effort to curb the issue they faced, MLS set out on a journey to increase admission by 50+ students, by revisiting the brand to maximize its impact.

The Solutions

To accomplish their goal, MLS decided to partner with the Good Kids. The collaboration aimed to revitalize the school’s approach to recruitment by leveraging strategy-driven branding. The key objective was not to just boost enrollment numbers, but to craft a compelling brand story that would help MLS stand out in the competitive educational landscape and connect deeply with the families they aspired to serve.

A brand can only be as strong as the way it’s defined in the minds of audience members. Armed with that understanding, the Good Kids conducted a survey among the parents of attendees, and local churches. The survey provided insight into the opportunities MLS had to bolster recruitment. Additionally, it allowed MLS the opportunity to learn about their opportunities for improvement, as told by the parents of attendees, and general community members.

Brand Guidelines – Mission, Vision, Values

The survey also assessed the competitive landscape of other private schools in Bismarck. This data enabled the Good Kids to identify brand trends within the market’s visuals and messaging. This visual analysis revealed that blue, black, and white were the most commonly employed colors in the private school realm allowing the Good Kids to confidently suggest colors to make MLS stand out in the best way.

Color Palette

After the strategic foundation was determined, the Good Kids developed MLS’s new visual brand identity. For the icon, a simple purple sunburst was designed alongside a book and cross, which encapsulates their brand idea of, “Shaping Eternal Values.” The Good Kids understood the significance of honoring MLS’s previous brand by incorporating its iconic color. Over the course of 28 years, MLS had established strong brand equity with its purple logo. In recognition of this legacy, the new icon and wordmark embraced two shades of purple. A timeless serif was chosen for the wordmark, as it spoke to the approachability and welcoming nature of MLS. Each piece of the logo was thoughtfully implemented to create a complete brand toolkit that accurately represents MLS’s brand story.

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The Results

Martin Luther School has bridged its rich heritage with a modern and forward-looking perspective. This transformation has established MLS as an institution deeply dedicated to the growth of its students, the support of its dedicated staff, and the promotion of a strong sense of community. The rejuvenated brand serves as a testament to MLS’s commitment to educational excellence and has firmly positioned them as a beacon of quality Lutheran education in North Dakota.

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