Each year high schools throughout Sweden compete with one another in trying to entice prospective students to choose their school above other, competing schools. Naturally, the curriculum provided and the level of staff and instruction are the key selling points, but when Laholm’s commune asked Buddy to help their Osbeck Gymnasium with its annual student recruitment drive, we decided to do a bit of research before merely accepting the standard approach.
Osbeck was facing stiff competition from neighboring Halmstad’s and other nearby schools. The problem was that as great as Osbeck’s new curriculum was, there was a lot to be said for the other schools as well. Buddy isolated a few specific curriculum points that Osbeck offered that were not available elsewhere, primarily the opportunity to spend a study year abroad without falling behind in your studies.
More importantly, we decided to focus on what students could do with all the extra time that they would save if NOT commuting to a competing school. We played on all the things that students could do with an extra 90 minutes a day by identifying a range of activities that teenagers would rather be doing than sitting on a bus. We combined this with two other messages; one pushing the year abroad program to students outside Laholm, and another appealing to students who had not yet made up their minds or perhaps wanted to change their choice of schools. We produced posters, postcards, a website, and a mini brochure, with dual content geared towards both parents and students. A selection of these materials can be seen here.
The result? The highest number of applicants in the school’s history and a high number of students changing their decision to go to other schools and go to Osbeck instead. Numbers that we increased the following year and plan to increase this year as well!