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  • Eloise Barclay

Queensland Academy for Science, Mathematics & Technology 2018 Rebrand

A shift in remit, a shift in brand | My involvement and experience

Graphic design and campaign copy by Eloise Barclay

The Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology (SMT) is one of the most successful and prestigious selective entry state high schools in Australia and ranked the highest performing school in the state. The institution is dedicated to empowering Queensland’s brightest students in a collaborative and supportive environment to realise their potential through a world class curriculum (the International Baccalaureate) and facilities.

I worked at SMT three days a week for four years as the Media & Marketing Officer, responsible for graphic design, campaign creation, publications and social media. In this time one of our key focuses was to transition the image and branding of the school to reflect its success and future goals. For reference, this is what the branding and design looked like when I first started in 2015:

In 2018 a systematic shift within the organisation occurred with the announcement of the introduction of a new year level, Year 7, in 2019. As the remit of the school was broadening it was decided the organisation needed a rebrand in preparation for the next wave of change. This was to be done in a four stage approach:

  • Gather market insights and research, and liaise with key stakeholders to determine copy for new slogan and logo

  • Engage external rebrand agency to develop new logo and visually execute brand vision

  • Raise awareness of the change in business direction through two marketing campaigns (2018 Open Day and Year 7 Is Here)

  • Launch the rebrand through Year 7 Open Day campaign and rebranded website

My role in this was to support with marketing and research insights, content, graphic design, storytelling and campaign execution.

Stages one and two:

Bright Minds, Brilliant Futures ---> Inspiring Great Minds

As we were now talking to a younger audience (aged 9 - 11) as well as the previous demographic (aged 14 - 17), the brand slogan needed to shift from educating those with bright minds, to empowering children to have bright minds. Hence, the slogan was changed to Inspiring Great Minds.

Market research and insights led by the marketing team (myself and Marketing Manager) revealed that majority of those internal and external to the school identified it as 'SMT' rather than its longer name of 'Queensland Academies for Science, Mathematics & Technology'. The longer version also created complications when it came to graphic design, as the words were difficult to read on outdoor advertising. After liaising with key stakeholders it was determined that the brand had enough external recognition to change it from the longer version to the shortened version of 'SMT' and an external agency, Viabrand was briefed. This was the result:

Final two stages of rebrand:

Awareness and Launch Campaigns

I played an integral part in the execution and coordination of the three campaigns. This included graphic design, engagement of photographer/ management of shoot for campaign and identification and actioning of strategic marketing channels. The 'Year 7 is coming to QASMT in 2019 Open Day Campaign' was the highest performing campaign in SMT history, with approx. 1,500 people in attendance at the Open Day in comparison to an average of 500. This in turn achieved the ultimate goal of increased registrations for Year 7 in 2019 and even resulted in the formation of a waitlist.

As part of the rebrand I was required to re-design the SMT website and improve the UX. From this I gained basic HTML skills and further developed my WordPress abilities.

Overall this was an exciting and rewarding experience which improved my knowledge and experience in market research, graphic design, project coordination and briefing, website development and campaign creation and execution.

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