Brand positioning and a go-to-market strategy
The ClientNew Classrooms is a US-based non-profit working to improve the traditional classroom-based school model to meet the individual needs of each student. They pursue this mission through research, policy and advocacy work, and a suite of innovative learning solutions focused on middle school mathematics.
In the summer of 2020, New Classrooms decided to expand their offering from a single product to a family of related products. The original product was impactful but complex—it required a major time and financial investment for school districts. The new products would make some of the same functionality available to schools, individual teachers, and families for a much lower price. The new products were also being designed to support virtual learning to enable students to keep learning during the pandemic.
Leadership realized that a successful launch of these products would require a major shift in their marketing strategy. Modern Craft was engaged to guide this shift on two levels: brand positioning and a go-to-market strategy.
New Classrooms knew their brand strategy was unclear. And there was increasing confusion between the organizational brand and the product brand. The coming wave of growth would require more clarity and a stronger brand foundation.
As a result of external pressure to meet deadlines associated with the school year, we decided to begin with a shared discovery period that would feed insights into both the go-to-market and brand workstreams.
Our discovery included one-on-one interviews with teachers, parents, and school district leaders, a scan of the competitive landscape, stakeholder meetings to understand the mission, a review of dozens of documents, and research to ensure we understood the dynamics of the marketplace. We also held workshops with key internal stakeholders to learn more about the new products, which were still being developed.
Our brand development process involved using insights in the organization, the customers, and the market. And then looking for overlaps between the three that “triangulated” into rich territories for the brand. We used these territories as the basis of a series of workshops with New Classrooms that eventually resulted in a crisp, new brand essence: Redefine Possible. This essence speaks to the way New Classrooms pushes past fixed notions of what the US education system can deliver by creating a new paradigm. One that is better for children. And better for society.
Once the core brand was defined and approved, we developed a go-to-market strategy for their new suite of products. We provided guidance on naming for the product suite, Teach to One, and developed guidelines for when to use the New Classrooms brand. We developed a phase launch program that indicated who to target, how to reach them, and when to launch each phase. We even went as deep as identifying the key channels and tactics to employ to achieve their goals. We then engaged an experienced art director to create a new visual identity system for the product brand, and found a website developer who we managed to launch their new digital presence.
Since then, we’ve continued to support New Classrooms for various projects. And our joint efforts have led to New Classrooms tripling the number of students it serves.
Other work for this client has included:
- Leadership coaching
- Development of a unique product campaign
- Marketing organizational structure guidance
- Hiring support
- Assistance during the vendor selection process
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