The American University in Cairo
With a campaign that straddled three continents and four cultures, AUC needed to make the case not for the university’s need, but for an ambitious shared vision of what higher education can and must offer to Egypt and the Middle East—Better thinkers: Better futures.
The American University of Paris
The American University of Paris didn’t just need more students. It needed the right students—adventurous young people the world over, ready to join a multi-national student body, experience an “American-style” education, and explore one of the world’s most iconic, culturally influential cities.
The Archer School for Girls
Archer, young and accomplished but still often overlooked in L.A., needed to compete based on its own strengths. “What if,” we asked, Archer could establish an altogether new axis on which the school could stand out in the competitive L.A. market?
Armstrong Atlantic State University
To attract new interest from within and beyond Savannah, Armstrong needed a message that grew from, rather than ignored, its deep local roots, showcasing the university’s position as a center for Savannah’s economic, scientific, cultural, and civic vibrancy.
Bayview Glen School
Toronto’s Bayview Glen offered a fresh, coeducational approach in a market teeming with venerable single-sex schools. To stand out in this traditionally minded field, Bayview Glen needed to claim—and proclaim—the school’s inquiry-based, forward-looking program.
Blue School had a big reputation for such a young institution—but the conversation was not all positive. In order to attract best-fit families in the most competitive market in the country, the school would have to tell an even more compelling—and authentic—story.
In Minneapolis, “independent school” conjured prim stereotypes that didn’t look at all like this vibrant school community, leaving Breck to compete for first in a category that didn’t quite fit. Differentiating itself from among the school’s small handful of competitors would require a reimagined approach.
California Western School of Law
CRANE helped California Western learn to disregard the treacherous law school rankings game. Instead, we invited prospects into a more nuanced dialogue, asking them to consider the law and law school in the widest possible sense.
Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
The time had come for the world’s largest Gothic cathedral to remind New Yorkers and visitors from around the world: The Cathedral is more than a building. It’s also a Conversation. And you are more than a body. You are also a Spirit. You are a traveler. You are also a Pilgrim. You are you and also You.
City College of NY
For 120 years, City College stood proud as New York’s academically elite and affordable college “for the whole people.” Since losing part of its good name to adoptive parent CUNY, however, City also lost its message–but not the original City purpose.
Dexter Southfield School
In the progressive-leaning Boston market, Dexter Southfield Schools’ classic approach was starting to seem like a disadvantage. In fact, it’s what set these brother and sister schools apart. To the families looking for this traditional alternative, Dexter Southfield needed to make the case that classic education still works in the 21st century.
Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart
Despite a 60-year history and a strong Sacred Heart ethos, Duchesne remained “the school behind the wall” in the minds of too many Houston families. So how does a formidable yet characteristically humble school re-announce itself in a competitive market? By leading with the transformative outcome—girls in formation.
Earlham School of Religion
Earlham turned to CRANE to help conduct a far-reaching conversation about Quakerdom’s future. The book Among Friends, published excerpts of our report, ultimately served as a springboard for a national discussion and the foundation for a five-year strategic plan.
A small, independent outlier in a market defined by large, well-funded public schools, Elgin Academy needed to recast intimately scaled education as the school’s explicit value proposition.
The Galloway School
Mr. Galloway said, “Ours is a constantly changing approach to education.” Did this mean “the Galloway Way” couldn’t be definitively explained? CRANE helped draw an important distinction: Rather than starting at how, the better question for Galloway people to answer was “Why?”
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern had long battled for recognition against forces much larger than itself. When the university asserted its uniqueness, instead of its relative merits, Georgia Southern became the first-choice option for its best-fit students.
Georgia Civil Justice Foundation
To help the Georgia Civil Justice Foundation shun negative ideological frames and claim positive new rhetorical territory, CRANE developed a values-based narrative that evokes a foundational American ideal: fair play.
When Heathwood Hall faced the dual threat of surging Columbia, South Carolina public schools plus a catapulting independent school competitor, the school could no longer humbly play by the market’s established rules. Instead, Heathwood Hall needed to reassert its position as Columbia’s first choice for independent education by changing expectations altogether.
Holland Hall was a venerable educational landmark to some—and an inscrutable mystery to others. This dynamic, deeply kind school needed to invite greater Tulsa in.
The Langley School
In Washington, D.C.’s ferociously competitive K-12 school market, The Langley School offered an intriguing alternative: a preschool-8 model emphasizing both emotional and intellectual growth. But many parents saw this model as risky–would their child gain admission to D.C.’s top-tier high schools? Langley needed to clarify and claim the program’s intentional preparation for high school and beyond.
Reclaiming this college’s founding values meant embracing tension—not the tension that strains and stresses, but the kind of positive tension that holds together the disparate parts of a balanced whole: Faith/Intellect, Discipline/Imagination, Wisdom/Experience, Discovery/Belief, Home/Journey, Work/Play.
Midtown International School
Midtown International School—just three years old—already enjoyed full enrollment because of a wonderful parent-to-parent referral network. But for sustained growth in competitive Atlanta, MIS needed to match the intentionality of their unique program with how they told their story.
Touting a 1728 founding and a legacy as one of the finest schools in Virginia, Norfolk Academy was the established market leader. But local families had begun overlooking—and misunderstanding—the astounding achievements in teaching, learning, and leadership that the Academy advanced, never in fits and starts, but very intentionally in time.
Preservation League of New York State
To help the Preservation League speak out both for itself and for the state’s threatened historic sites, CRANE literally “gave voice” to the endangered landscapes and buildings of New York.
Portsmouth Abbey School
Portsmouth Abbey needed to learn how to leverage its rich legacy, to invite students to take root in a centuries-old tradition—a way of thinking, living, acting, and treating one another—with implications far greater than superficial comparison can show.
Anticipating an ambitious 100th-anniversary campaign for endowment funds, Reed College wondered how to appeal to their fiercely intellectual and perennially critical alumni. The CRANE recommendation: counter sentimental fundraising traditions and highlight what most “Reedies” prize most about their Reed experience: learning to think critically—to REASON.
River Oaks Baptist School
Situated in one of Houston’s most exclusive neighborhoods, and carrying the oft-misunderstood label of “Baptist,” River Oaks Baptist School, though well-known and respected by insiders, faced a perception problem.
Schools of The Sacred Heart San Francisco
Four seemingly separate entities, Convent & Stuart Hall Elementary & High Schools (for girls and boys), needed to remember that more than a shared budget held them together. These schools also shared the timeless Sacred Heart educational philosophy.
The Seven Hills School
After decades of “marketing avoidance,” the Seven Hills community transformed the way Cincinnati views their exceptional school in the span of just one year. How? We got their people to do the talking.
The Seven Hills School, development
The charts and graphs of a traditional case statement weren’t enough to inspire the generosity of this vibrant and emotive community. By turning every message into a direct, resonant benefit statement, we helped Seven Hills reach their campaign goal ahead of schedule.
Shady Hill School
Shady Hill School, a steadfast figure among Boston independent schools, sought to ensure prospective families chose the school for a fundamentally different education—not just a prestigious reputation.
St. George's Independent School
St. George’s Independent School offered agile teaching and active learning in a city still partial to more traditional approaches. In order to reach best-fit families in a conservative market, St. George’s had to highlight their impressive academic outcomes—and the time-tested values they share with many Memphis families.
State Bar of Georgia
The State Bar of Georgia wanted to elevate citizen appreciation of jury service and educate Georgia school children about our government’s third branch. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. helped CRANE do both in two widely used films.
State Bar of Texas
Horse-race-style coverage, not character assessment or issues analysis, was clouding the higher principles in Texas judicial elections. Through films, media, and a public education initiative, the State Bar sought to turn the partisan debate into a positive statewide dialogue about essential founding values: Let’s do justice for Texas.
Temple needed to better frame its relationship with the students it really serves best. So we uncovered the Temple Constant: It’s a reciprocal relationship. Temple meets action-oriented students where they are, and supports their hard work with access to life- and career-changing opportunities.
Trevor Day School
Amid the stratospheric pressure of Manhattan’s independent school market, an undeniably dynamic but outwardly modest school like Trevor Day can find it hard to stand out. This exceptionally inclusive, egalitarian community, whose academic results match many competitors’, needed to shift from claiming a middle ground along the traditional-progressive pedagogical continuum and find a new, authentic identity on their own terms—the z-axis.
The University of Alabama
The University of Alabama suffered from a dismaying array of graphic styles from every division, department, and special-interest group. An award-winning, versatile, and comprehensive CRANE identity system brought coherence in 1999 and still distinguishes the university today.
From an established Atlanta suburb, Walker found itself vying for recognition—and students—amidst two rigidly stratified categories: the best public schools in the state of Georgia and the storied independent schools of Atlanta proper. To win over best-fit families, Walker needed to step out of the fray and claim its Category of One.
Instead of scrambling to adapt to the escalating demands of its existing market, Westtown shifted its focus to what really matters most—the spirited Quaker education the school has provided since 1799—and attracted new best-fit families nationwide.
A century of shifting demographics left Atlanta’s oldest and largest independent school nearly an hour’s drive from its primary market. With more accessible, pedigreed schools abounding, Woodward started looking like a fringe option. The task: show Atlanta families that “the sure thing” in the 21st century isn’t about convenience and prestige.