trinity grammar school

Established in 1913, Trinity Grammar School is an independent Anglican day and boarding school for boys (Preschool to Year 12) in Sydney’s inner west.

the problem

Trinity Grammar School has been educating boys for a century but staff became somewhat tongue-tied when it came to articulating the School’s point of difference.

When Milton Cujes, Trinity Grammar School Head Master, approached imageseven to review its marketing communications activity, he was comfortable that the School was doing a lot of things well, but felt an external perspective would bring fresh eyes and external objectivity.

“What prompted us in the first instance to do a marketing communications audit report or enquiry was the realisation that whilst things may be going well in terms of enrolments, it’s important to always test yourself against industry standards or best practice. We certainly felt reasonably comfortable with what we were doing — there was great commitment on the part of the marketing team and enrolment department — but I also felt that we needed to have an outside friendly audit,” said Mr Cujes.

After attending a conference presentation by imageseven and being impressed with its genuine understanding of independent schooling, Trinity Grammar School engaged imageseven to conduct a Marketing and Communications Audit Program to deliver a professional profile of Trinity Grammar School’s marketing communications efforts.

Listen to the Trinity Grammar School Principal, Milton Cujes

the solution

imageseven facilitated a series of brand discovery sessions with a select group of key staff, along with desk research and competitor comparisons. The first step was to discover and define Trinity’s value proposition — why existing customers choose Trinity — and the School’s points of difference.

“One of the interesting things to come about was that it confirmed in part some of our own conclusions that internally people coming to Trinity — families already in the School — certainly valued the education that their boy was experiencing. They felt their son had a great experience and holistic education within the traditions and the mission statement of the School. In fact, pleasingly, there was a response from the survey that their expectations were if not met, perhaps even exceeded. However, that contrasted with the opinion of people who were yet to become part of the School community, those who were ‘shopping around’ for the appropriate school for their son,” said Mr Cujes.

What emerged from the research was a perception that Trinity Grammar School was the runner-up choice compared to other GPS (Great Public Schools) schools. As one parent summed up, “the benefits aren’t apparent until your son is attending”.

Like many schools, Trinity was delivering far more value than it communicated and was missing opportunities to build the School’s brand and share of enrolments. In short, its brand wasn’t resonating with prospective customers, and its competitive advantage and market positioning was suffering.

These two themes formed the basis of the recommendations that imageseven presented to Trinity at the completion of the Marketing and Communications Audit Program.

the outcome

The Marketing and Communications Audit Program is designed to quickly identity the gaps or disconnects that exist in a school’s marketing communications and present a pathway forward. Since undertaking the Marketing and Communications Audit Program, there have been two key outcomes for Trinity Grammar School. The first is an increased confidence in its decision making process and the second is a renewed focus to its marketing communications activity — knowing where to focus efforts to bring improvement.

“Certain aspects of the Marketing and Communications Audit Program were very beneficial in terms of helping us to plan for the future. The audit has now given us a targeted approach to improving our messaging to the outside community,” said Mr Cujes. “It also enables us to overcome the pitfall that often happens when you are trying to look at your own naval gazing operation. So a little bit of state-of-the-art professional clarity, the ability to be stirred into action and to reflect on what you previously thought was well and truly done well has all been very beneficial.”

Reflecting on the experience, Mr Cujes offers some advice to other school leaders who sense that their school’s marketing communication efforts could be delivering better results.

“I would certainly commend imageseven for your consideration, if you are interested in getting a profile — a realistic, professional profile — from a company that will be in tune with your mission and that has experience in independent education that very few other institutions have. It is a pleasure to recommend imageseven.”