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Revitalizing a Respected Market LeaderMIC Logo

The Challenge:

This not-for-profit educational organization provides high quality arts education to students of all ages and ability levels at five separate locations in Chicagoland. Established in 1931, the Music Institute of Chicago had come to be seen as boring, stiff, and only for the most gifted musicians. How could we change perceptions to make this institution more approachable for a broader range of ability levels without diminishing the reputation that MIC trains/coaches many world-class musicians?

The Solution:MIC Reasearch Chart

Devise a marketing strategy and creative platform that leverages the Music Institute’s brand assets and core values which set it apart from competitors and align with the core values of the primary target audience- parents searching for the right musical education for their children.

Market research was used to identify the Music Institute’s perceived strengths and competitive differences. These brand assets were evaluated, validated and prioritized. Having a quantified evaluation of the MIC Brand Equity and Core Values led to an authentic, ownable, and compelling Marketing Strategy.

The Results:

The creative strategy used for the Music Institute Community Music School communicates the brand benefits for students and their parents: Make Music. Make Friends. Build Confidence. Perceptions have changed dramatically, with only 15% of student parents answering that they “have heard Music Institute of Chicago is only for the ‘gifted’ or serious musician.” This strategic expansion of the target audience has resulted in a reversal in enrollment trends, even during the soft economy.

MIC Concept Board

Smart Words

"Marketing isn't magic.  There is a science to it."

Dan Zarrella, Social Media Scientist, Hubspot