Lift Academy

A branding and web-development case study.

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OVERVIEW

Pre-College Programs is an educational division of the University of Maryland. Its Upward Bound program receives federal and state funding to provide fundamental support to high school students in their preparation for college entrance. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree.

Pre-College Programs’ Upward Bound program has an amazing track record with 96% of its students attending colleges and many receiving prestigious awards, such as Gates Millennium and Posse scholarships but due to its state of funding, upward bound program is limited to only certain schools and thus every year they had to turn down several students who needed academic support but did not fit the eligibility criteria.

This is why they started a new program, LIFT, that provides affordable SAT Prep Classes to students outside the eligibility of Upward Bound program.

CLIENT
PCP-logo
ROLE

Branding & Marketing Strategy

Web Design

Web Development

TEAM

Solo project (2 months)

TOOLS USED
lift_tools
GOAL

Increase the enrollment of students into LIFT Program’s SAT Prep Classes.

While Pre-College Programs never faced any trouble in enrolling students for it’s popular Upward Bound program, LIFT program was relatively unknown and struggled with student enrollment to a point that it hardly made any money.

RESEARCH

Disconnect between Upward Bound and Lift Academy users and lack of Brand Identity

1. Google Analytics Research
Pre-College Programs’ website consisted of 14 web pages with only a web page dedicated to LIFT program. The website being the primary source for information and student enrollment, I implemented Google Analytics to understand the user behavior around it.

The findings after the 2-week data collection process were:

95%

of the traffic to the LIFT Program web page was coming directly from google searches like SAT Prep.

This indicated that the traffic was not driven by the popularity of the Upward Bound program but from an organic interest in finding SAT Prep classes.

85%

of the users were leaving the website without browsing any further.

This indicated that the content was not compelling enough to deliver an amazing first impression.

40 sec

average time on the LIFT program web page

The user was only concerned with SAT Prep yet the website had 13 other links not fitting this goal. Just one click and the user was gone forever!

All these findings led to one major insight:

Upward Bound’s User ≠ LIFT Program’s User

old_lift_academy

LIFT Program web page as of October 2018

2. Brand Analysis
Pre-College Programs’ website consisted of 14 web pages with only a web page dedicated to LIFT program. The website being the primary source for information and student enrollment, I implemented Google Analytics to understand the user behavior around it.

The findings after the 2 week data collection process were:

LIFT_incoherent_brand

LIFT Program branding of October 2018

SOLUTION

A new Brand Identity and a separate Website

After the research, it was evident that LIFT Program needed a separate website with no unnecessary links for users to get lost. Further, the program needed a new brand that can better connect with its target users.

BRANDING

LIFT Program becomes Lift Academy

Building a website without a branding strategy would have been inefficient as it would have failed to create a lasting impression on the end-user. Good branding makes a user yearn for more and speaks about your brand to others.

Before onboarding the user with the brand, it was important that all the stakeholders have a consensus in the direction of the brand and that is why I invited every staff member to participate in the Brand Attributes Workshop.

Lift_Academy_logo

Lift Academy Logo

Lift_stylescape

Stylescape to communicate the brand direction

WEB DESIGN

Designing for Instagram generation 

Selling more than just a class, the website focuses on selling experience by showcasing photos of students at the beautiful University of Maryland. Further, the content leverages the University of Maryland brand.

RESULTS

Disconnect between Upward Bound and Lift Academy users and lack of Brand Identity

1. Google Analytics Research
Pre-College Programs’ website consisted of 14 web pages with only a web page dedicated to LIFT program. The website being the primary source for information and student enrollment, I implemented Google Analytics to understand the user behavior around it.

The findings after the 2-week data collection process were:

LEARNINGS & TAKEAWAYS

Disconnect between Upward Bound and Lift Academy users and lack of Brand Identity

1. Google Analytics Research
Pre-College Programs’ website consisted of 14 web pages with only a web page dedicated to LIFT program. The website being the primary source for information and student enrollment, I implemented Google Analytics to understand the user behavior around it.

The findings after the 2-week data collection process were:

Other Works

TargetProject type

DocOn PatientProject type

DoorDash RedesignProject type

RootsWeb Design

Lift AcademyProject type