Scaling an innovative edtech leader
K12 Insight and New Kind advance a brand that powers superior service
School leaders face a tidal wave of questions and requests every day—from every direction, on every channel. And the intensity keeps rising: More students in need, more teacher burnout, and more health, safety, and security concerns. Under the strain, the entire school community’s experience suffers.
Inspired by this growing pressure, K12 Insight built a customer service and intelligence platform designed for K-12 leaders and administrators. Backed by industry experts with deep K-12 knowledge. And a mission to help school cultures thrive.
Industries: B2B Technology, Education, SaaS
Services: Company Messaging, Identity System, Positioning, Product Messaging, Storytelling
Why New Kind?
New Kind was an amazing partner for our rebranding project. I appreciated how the entire team dove in to gain a deep understanding of our brand, our customers and the impact we have within public education. Their client service was top-notch and I was impressed by their expertise, level of detail, thoughtfulness and responsiveness.
Rachel Esterline Perkins
Head of Marketing Communications
EMPOWERING K-12 LEADERS TO HELP SCHOOLS THRIVE
The K12 Insight team felt rock solid about their platform and the outcomes it delivered. Customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It was the perfect opportunity to refine their storytelling to signal enterprise readiness.
They saw a need for a holistic narrative and focused value proposition. Prospects and customers recognized their point solutions, like flagship product Let’s Talk, but didn’t tie them back to the company or realize the power of the full product portfolio. Individual products needed to shine within a unified story the whole company could rally round.
They also wanted more emotional, purpose-driven storytelling. Helping to connect the platform’s strong nuts and bolts to the feelings and outcomes that move minds.
Positioning, Story, and Messaging
BUILDING A BRAND THAT SPANS BLACKBOARDS AND BOARDROOMS
Our quest for a cohesive message began with a gap analysis, internal and external stakeholder interviews, and a survey of school superintendents.
We found that the concept of “customer service” resonated. School leaders felt an undeniable need for a better model. But it also revealed that many prospects were too buried handling crises and wrangling chaos to research and implement a new platform. Many were skeptical that a complete solution could possibly exist.
Not only does a solution exist, it’s become a must-have tool for those who use it. And it was our collective job to help prospects understand its value. So we emphasized K12 Insight’s understanding of why school districts need their platform before the nitty-gritty of how it works. School leaders can’t afford the repercussions of even one bad case outcome.
To demonstrate expertise and effectiveness, the team needed examples with emotion. Surveys surfaced real stories that made the platform’s features come alive.
We brought it together in a brand story expressing why school leaders need to break out of the status quo. And we crystallized the high-level people benefit in the Big Brand Message: Better experiences. Better engagement. Better education.
Clear brand pillars make it easy to understand what K12 Insight can help schools:
- Engage & Empower
- Anticipate & Act
- Strengthen Transparency & Trust
Targeted messaging for superintendents and district leadership gave the sales and communications teams a head start. Product messaging clarified their point solutions’ value while keeping the power of combined platform top of mind.
ACHIEVING AN ADVANCED VISUAL SYLLABUS
K12 Insight’s visual identity work had the same goal of demonstrating enterprise readiness. And we needed to show it without changing the existing logo and core color palette. Instead, we focused on infusing their brand with visual storytelling and codifying it into a visual system.
We designed the process to make sure the story informed the visual system. Ensuring the K12 Insight team got more than a tactical kit of parts, they got an extension of their business and brand strategy.
To unify the brand, we created a new visual motif, expressed with an expanded color palette, typography, and photo treatments. We used a key workshop finding as a jumping-off point: “Through transparency and trust, districts strengthen staff, family, and community connections.”
That idea led us to explore how the existing K12 Insight logo could help show connection between these different groups. We redefined segments of the logo as system elements to express themes of transparency, trust, and support.
The K12 Insight team quickly rallied around a concept reimagining the arc segments as a bridge built on confidence and support. Segments can extend in different directions to create visual variety. Their overlaps create a new combined palette, so the core colors can engage and empower each other in new ways. Warm neutral backgrounds feel human and friendly and help add visual depth.
We delivered the identity elements in a flexible format that gave K12 Insight the system blueprints, but empowers their team to use their skills and creativity to discover new possibilities.
A NEW LESSON PLAN FOR K-12 CUSTOMER SERVICE AND INTELLIGENCE
The core working team was so positive about our collective results that they asked us to share the story of our work at their all-hands meeting. The marketing team felt equipped to implement the brand from rollout to activation, and was excited to put it to work.
Internal buy-in was reflected in comments at the all-hands like “so inspiring” and “feeling so energized!” The brand was quickly brought to life on public touchpoints, including the website. The K12 Insight team even created a video version of the brand story to spread the word across as many channels as possible.
After a year, the brand foundation has been implemented and activated. The team continues to expand on the new possibilities unlocked by our work together, focusing on creative expression and increasing awareness through a growing presence at events.