OLSD gets a facelift: Central office looks to rebrand the district

The Olentangy Local School District is known for many things: its academics, teachers, student athletes, test scores and safety. Although these things do seem to define the district, a project to rebrand Olentangy is underway.

According to Olentangy’s website, the district, comprising 95 square miles, 21,638 students and 25 schools, is, well, huge. Within these miles, there are those who live in the district’s boundaries but who either no longer have a student in the district or who never have had a student in the district.

To these people, Olentangy may not be much more than the residing district in the area where they live. The district wants to change this.

“Olentangy is undergoing a process to define and articulate the district’s brand identity and image. Part of this process will allow us to clarify who we are, how we describe ourselves as well as include a refreshed logo,” Assistant Principal Christine Tartt said.

According to Director of Communications of Olentangy Krista Davis, the district is working with Cult Marketing, a Columbus-based marketing agency, to discover what exactly defines Olentangy.

“Cult Marketing is talking to people in the community like students, teachers and administrators to find what Olentangy is defined by. They are looking for a few words or phrases that define the district that we can use to brand ourselves,” Davis said.

Cult Marketing and other brand-identity project leaders worked with focus groups, comprised of current students, alumni, principals, teachers, PTOs and administrative assistants, so the project’s leaders could gain input from the community regarding what the district’s best attributes/assets are.

At Orange, there are a few teachers/administrators who took part in these groups.

“I met with two representatives from Cult Marketing, and I was asked to create a collage of ideas and pictures that I thought represented Olentangy. The representatives asked and recorded many questions regarding my views of the Olentangy community. It’s been quite an interesting experience so far,” Intervention Specialist Marcia Lower said.

Ordered from most popular (35 percent) to least popular (3 percent), the results of these groups and a survey about what the district’s best attributes/assets were: great education, diverse programs and classes, great teachers and staff, the community, Olentangy’s standards, learning options, school size, future preparation and use of resources.

Along with branding the district with these attributes, the distinctive blue circle logo of a teacher and a student holding books will change.

“When the project began in January, we hadn’t decided if a logo change was something that should be done, but we have concluded that the district’s logo will change. We have a group working on that, and the changed logo will be unveiled by February 2019,” Davis said.

Once the new logo is unveiled, measures will be taken to protect and trademark Olentangy’s new brand.

“Part of our brand-identity project is the prevention of open-use of our brand. Reining in how and where the logo is used is important to us,” Davis said.

A major point of interest for the communications department is ensuring that local businesses and Olentangy’s stakeholders are included in this rebranding.

“Our end goal is to create a logo and a brand identity that resonates with the community. Essentially, we want to create a brand identity that is a point of pride for stakeholders in the community,” Davis said.

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