Testimonial  for Zoyo Branding

Client: Hyla Middle School, PNAIS Member School, Bainbridge Island, WA

Testimonial: Anne Payne Barker, President, Board of Directors, Hyla Middle School

Work Performed: Branding platform development

Date of Services: September – December 2011

What led you to hire Zoyo Branding?

Beth is the parent of a child at the school. We were impressed with her background in advertising and marketing and felt she would be an asset to the school for several reasons, as a member of the Board of Trustees. As she worked with the Development Committee and the school’s administration she talked to us about marketing ideas for the school. She then put together the branding project and carried it through to its completion.

How did you communicate your issues to Zoyo Branding?

The Head of School and Assistant Head of School discussed with Zoyo the problems with the community’s lack of awareness of the school and declining enrollment in our region. Beth understood the problems both as a trustee and also as a parent.

Did Zoyo Branding understand your issues?

Absolutely. The Administration and Board of Trustees were able to see how quickly Beth grasped the issues, clarified them for us, and immediately set to work designing the branding project. It was incredibly smoothly handled from start to finish.

What did Zoyo Branding do, specifically?

Zoyo prepared questions and coordinated several interview sessions with various constituent groups in the school community.  She then conducted the interviews, either with individuals or with groups, over several hours and looked over the transcripts from all of them. With these transcripts she then pulled in volunteers from the school community to begin categorizing statements and thoughts, which Zoyo ultimately worked with to define branding ideas.  Finally, she worked with a small group of individuals from the school to pull out the final words comprising the brand.  There was undoubtedly a great deal of work done in between these sessions that allowed our school to create with words what we believed intuitively.

Was the process clear, timely, and appropriate?

It was one of the most efficiently executed projects I have ever been involved with. There was a time line and Zoyo kept to it.

Which solutions that Zoyo offered were most helpful?

Zoyo was instrumental in helping the school to better define itself, completely and succinctly, which has become necessary in an increasingly busy and competitive world. In addition, Beth was able to help us define the next steps for carrying the brand through marketing materials as well as appropriately announce the brand to the faculty and parents.

What about the solution surprised you?

That there really could be a set of words that worked so beautifully and completely in setting us apart and better defining us.

Talk about the “value” of Zoyo’s work.

It’s a more competitive world and schools have to realize that. They have to better define themselves in the marketplace. Having a brand does that.

How did Zoyo’s work improve everyday operations?

At this time we are looking at increasing numbers of prospective applicants to the school. The brand is very new, but we are hoping that eventually we will see an increase in enrollment.

How did Zoyo’s work help you better support your audience?

It created enthusiasm which helps with job performance.  The faculty had a genuinely warm response and there were no complaints or criticisms. The parents are also very enthusiastic.

How did Zoyo’s work help decrease expenses or reduce the cost of doing business?

As far as decreasing our overall costs, that remains to be seen since we’re a non-profit. But I’m thinking that with a certain clarity of purpose through the brand, that staff workload will actually be more efficient.

How is your organization different now that Zoyo has worked with you?

I think there is a clarity around what we are trying to do, what kind of school we are committed to ensuring for students. It’s as if the reason for the branding work was to clarify the strengths of the school succinctly to the outside world but the surprise result was that these strengths and really the soul of the school became more clearly defined for all of us within the school, too.

Would you work with Zoyo again or recommend Zoyo to others?

Absolutely. Zoyo did exactly what they promised, efficiently and thoughtfully. We enjoyed the process and continue to be excited about the results.