Education Northwest: Re-branding to expand impact

A long-time leader in the education field, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratories (NWREL) wanted to make a strategic shift from being primarily government-grant funded to market-competitive, and from a Northwest program to national player. It needed a more clear, compelling and consistently applied brand to engage with a much wider audience in a competitive field.

MG used its 3Vs of Social Purpose Branding to engage the board and staff to identify strengths, challenges and brand characteristics, and conduct research with key audiences to explore brand perception and unique attributes. Using this insight, we built a brand platform that defined the organization’s products and services as best-in-class and positioned it as a passionate, smart and attentive service provider dedicated to equity and quality in education. The new name, Education Northwest, is more market-friendly and less governmental, while retaining the clout of being from the leading region for education innovation.

The brand framework—a new logo and identity, brand architecture to work across departments, implementation strategy, and internal training–was adopted quickly and enthusiastically by the staff, board and the field, positioning the organization as a national leader working from the innovative Northwest.

The brand has had a lasting effect on the organization. Years later, leadership and staff still continually use the 3Vs and brand platform to guide marketing and strategy decisions. In addition, Education Northwest invited MG to extend the reach of its brand by developing social marketing plans for immediate and longer-term initiatives. In particular, MG helped Education Northwest develop strategies, including digital and social media, to market it’s 6+1 Traits Writing services to educator audiences throughout the United States and internationally.