Ashton Sixth Form College — branding, advertising and comunications

Based in Tameside near Manchester, Ashton Sixth Form College is the major provider of the highest quality academic and vocational education in the area. Despite having excellent A level results, the college suffered from a diminishing reputation and faced increasingly stiff competition from other colleges in the catchment area.

Ashton Logo
To counteract negative perceptions, Ashton identified that it needed a cohesive marketing strategy.

When we first met with the college we quickly identified that most of their key messages were hidden away in small print. It appeared that the college had the best results in the area, but they were just not communicating this. We recommended they use their excellent statistics to talk directly to potential students.

In order to underpin the communications we recommended they needed a much stronger brand identity. We created new branding and an extensive outdoor
advertising campaign, as well as a prospectus. During the brand audit process, we discovered that many of their students went on to Russell Group universities. With this information we designed a Gifted and Talented brochure to sit alongside a Book of Facts, aimed at parents and potential students alike. This focused on facts we had highlighted in the accompanying advertising campaign.

Results
The new branding has been well received by all stakeholders. Recruitment figures are up on last year, although final numbers won’t be available until August 2012.