Flint Hill School

Project: Brand Development and Enrollment Strategy

Partner: Turnaround Marketing Communications 

Flint Hill School, a pre-K through 12th-grade day school in Fairfax, Virginia, had a chameleon reputation – star Latin program, techy school, jock school, all of the above and more? Flint Hill’s brand story needed to find a way to give the school’s chameleon reputation coherence. It also had to prove that the school prepares students for selective colleges not just as well as its public and private competitors, but even better. Its brand story needed to answer the question: What makes your school worth it? Flint Hill’s answer: the drive for relentless quality. 

In partnership with Turnaround Marketing Communications, we turned that chameleon reputation into a positive, leveraging the school’s Husky mascot and motto “home of the driving spirit” to capture the idea of Flint Hill's relentless quality.  

Here are the first lines of the school’s new brand story:

Flint Hill School is Home of the Driving Spirit. One of the first things visitors ask us is how do you do so many things so well? Like our Latin program and our literary magazine, both award-winning, and our champion athletics. The answer is, “We’re driven.” 

Driven to put our students first. Driven to relentless quality in everything we do, from academics to arts and athletics. Driven to game-changing innovation. In fact, other schools around the country visit us regularly to study our methods, program, and use of technology. They want to know about our seamless responsive teaching to meet the learning styles of all students. They want to observe the advances our partnership with Apple, Inc., has brought to learning in the classroom.

The school’s brand has five chapters (Students First, Relentless Quality, Game-Changing Innovation, Living the Husky Promise, and Purpose-Built Campus) – each is proved with stats, testimonials and details from the school’s program.

A main viewbook was designed to appeal to both parents and students, while a small, fun student pamphlet tucks into the front cover. Accompanying these two pieces is a brochure about outcomes and college that reinforces Flint Hill's academic quality and outstanding college prep. By the end of the first admission cycle with the new brand story in place, Flint Hill’s yield for ninth grade was higher than it had ever been and the school had a deep wait list with families calling board members to try to get in.  

The full Flint Hill School brand story and proof points are featured in “From Marketing Strategy to Brand Story: Telling the Story of Independent Education” by Andrea Jarrell (The NAIS Enrollment Management Handbook edited by Christine Hailer Baker; 2012; The National Association of Independent Schools).