St Barnabas College Brand Story

St Barnabas College was founded in 1880 as a training centre for the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide at the time. It was situated at the heart of the Diocese across the road from St Peter’s Cathedral in North Adelaide.

Over the years, the fortunes of Saint Barnabas College ebbed and flowed as the church went through many different changes. The College moved to Belair in the Adelaide Hills and then on to Brooklyn Park and Hindmarsh before eventually returning to its original home opposite the Cathedral on King William Road, North Adelaide.

Geographic movement of the College reflected movement in the theology and nature of education at St Barnabas College. Some of those changes did not result in positive outcomes for the College, the Church, or the City of Adelaide. However, in recent years, St Barnabas College underwent fundamental changes in its academic approach and theological breadth.

The Problem

St Barnabas College had undergone significant improvements and changes to make it more rigorous academically and more in line with the contemporary Anglican Church in Adelaide. However, it struggled to communicate its new position to stakeholders and prospective students.

St Barnabas College engaged Literally Brilliant to re-position the College in the minds of its stakeholders and prospective students. Literally Brilliant was asked to consider potentially changing the name and the logo of the College.

The Solution

Literally Brilliant engaged with the Principal and Council of the College. Managing Director, Michael Neale, helped the College leadership understand that the brand was rooted in the narrative of the College. Further, he demonstrated that the narrative was complex with multiple streams reflecting the wide range of stakeholders engaged in the College. Indeed, some of these narratives were contradictory.

Literally Brilliant undertook extensive research in the form of in-depth interviews with representatives from the different stakeholder groups identified. Interviews were conducted with current students, past students, Bishops, Council members, members of the clergy and prospective students with no current affiliation with St Barnabas College. These interviews were recorded and transcribed anonymously allowing insights and information to be consolidated.

Literally Brilliant took the information and insights consolidated from the research and distilled them into distinctive message strings that were discussed with a working party nominated by the Principal. These message strings were then presented to the Council for adoption in a presentation where the process was described in detail.

The message strings were adopted and formed the basis of a new brand story for St Barnabas College. This new brand story underpinned all future communication about St Barnabas College helping people to understand the changes it had gone through and the vision for its future.

The research found value in the name St Barnabas which was kept by the College. However, to signal the significant change that St Barnabas College had been through, it was argued by Literally Brilliant that changing the logo was appropriate.

Literally Brilliant provided the new brand story and message strings to the graphic designer as part of a brief for the new logo. The graphic designer found it easy to develop a logo against the brief provided, commenting that the inclusion of the brand story and message streams made it very easy to understand what was required. It was the best brief they had ever received.

Literally Brilliant then helped St Barnabas College implement the new brand strategy across everything they do. This included a re-launch of social media, new signage, new business cards but most importantly a new way of talking about St Barnabas College.

The Result

St Barnabas College has a new lease of life. This is not solely because of the rebranding process but the rebrand certainly played a role.

The high levels of consultation and the professionalism displayed by Literally Brilliant in executing the process resulted in a very high acceptance of the new brand narrative.

“Michael was generous with his time, patient and professional all the way through the process”, says The Canon Reverend Dr Matthew Anstey. “We thought we needed a new logo. In fact, we didn’t even understand the difference between a logo and a brand but what Michael taught us was that we needed to sort out our brand narrative. He helped us to do that and now we are confident in being able to present St Barnabas College as a Christian community encouraging all people to know and love God through learning.”