Sage Hill School is an independent co-educational college preparatory high school located in Newport Coast, CA for students in grades 9-12. Sage Hill is situated on a 30-acre campus with academic buildings, library, gymnasium, 30,000 square foot arts facility, state-of-the-art science center, and vast athletic facilities. The school opened in September 2000 with 150 students; today the school has grown to over 475 students. Sage Hill is dedicated to delivering a transformative educational experience that inspires in its highly motivated student body a love of learning to help ensure each maximizes his or her potential.


  • Refine and refresh the school brand to make it most relevant in 2015 and beyond.
  • Attract and convince the most motivated, highly qualified students (and their parents) to apply for admission
  • Develop a new theme line that effectively communicates the school’s unique benefits
  • Overhaul all marketing communications to convey the brand and attract the most desirable students and their parents

What We Did

  • GearShift conducting extensive research via focus groups with prospective students and parents, as well as individual student and alumni interviews.
  • GearShift took an inventory of all past research and existing marketing communications to develop a thorough brand analysis.
  • Conducted interviews and engaged in discussions with numerous core constituents, including head of school, president, teachers, advisors and other key Sage Hill groups
  • Using the learning from both primary and secondary research, developed a new theme line and marketing communications
  • Analyzed current student demographics in order to identify most highly qualified target areas

Creative Solutions

  • Developed new Sage Hill theme line: Your Journey. Your School.
  • New theme line conveys Sage Hill’s highly individualistic and holistic approach to learning and helping to uncover and develop each student’s passions and interests
  • Use current students and recent alumni as “brand ambassadors” to communicate the Sage Hill experience in attracting and recruiting new students
  • Utilize the highly qualified target areas to develop a targeted media plan


  • Open House attendance up 38%
  • Online media campaign captured over 4,000,000 impressions
  • Website inquiries up over 100%
  • Online contact from core target areas up 26%
  • New online videos viewed over 3,300 times
  • Work created by GearShift Advertising principals while at former agencies.