Re-asserting brand leadership Maria Montessori Institute

In a crowded market how can authenticity and a unique offer be communicated more effectively?

Maria Montessori Institute is the only Montessori training centre in the UK to deliver the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Diploma and runs The Maria Montessori School for children aged 2-12.

Here’s how we helped MMI to fully exploit its unique selling point – its firm commitment to the founding principles and original approach of Maria Montessori, a child-centric educational approach that has been in use for over 100 years.

How we’ve helped

  • Conducted in-depth analysis of the MMI brand and offer
  • Identified target audiences and defined the user journey
  • Restructured site to deliver a more user-friendly experience
  • Planned, directed and produced three promotional films

Challenge

MMI struggled to effectively convey the authenticity and breadth of its offer online and knew that a change was needed. MMI turned to Point 6 based on a partnership that had already been formed when we carried out a brand refresh – that included reviewing the brand’s visual identity to ensure it stayed contemporary and worked effectively online.

The practical requirements, such as the need for a site that would be responsive and accessible across all devices and a user-friendly content management system, would be easy to resolve. The bigger challenge was how to successfully engage with different target audiences.

Solution

Rather than simply waiting to receive a brief, and already armed with good client knowledge, we worked closely and proactively with the MMI project team to drill down into the detail of every aspect of the Institute’s work, to identify the core audiences and what a typical user journey would look like.

We structured the site to clearly delineate the three pillars of the Institute’s work – teacher training, the school, and MMI’s outreach programme. With three distinct audiences to engage with, we paid careful attention to site navigation and the variety and relevance of content for a user-friendly experience.

To truly crystallize the essence of the Montessori approach, we suggested the inclusion of film content that would engage, inspire and motivate. We planned, directed and produced three films that captured the personal experiences and beliefs of parents, teachers and students, the perfect answer to the question ‘why choose MMI?’

Outcome

The new website saw a significant rise in traffic, including visitors from over 180 countries. MMI has subsequently experienced a vastly improved conversion rate from initial enquiries to students enrolling on training courses, ensuring ongoing commercial viability which is essential for any charity.

The school also now enjoys greater differentiation from its competitors, with many more parents making it their first choice Montessori school. And the creation of secure password-protected areas for parents and students, which includes an online application and payment facility, automated much of the Institute’s administrative operations and proved an added-value benefit.

We also helped to integrate the brand identity into the interior architecture of MMI’s London training centre – with a donor plaque wall designed to grow organically over time.

As a charitable organisation with limited budgets, the website represented a significant investment but one that we knew was essential. The ongoing ROI has proved that working with Point 6 was a sound business decision.

Cherry Worthington, Maria Montessori Institute
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