U Prep Schools: A Detroit Charter School System
project name

U Prep Schools: A Detroit Charter School System

  • Client:

    U Prep Schools

  • Our Role:

    Agency of Record

About the Client:

Launched in 2000, University Prep Schools is one of Detroit’s longest-standing public charter school systems. Originating with only one Detroit-based high school, today the University Prep Schools network is comprised of two districts – University Prep Academy and University Prep Science & Math – and seven campuses serving 3,000 students. The schools operate with a mission to not only prepare students for higher education but to prepare them for life. In order to carry out this goal, U Prep endeavors to provide its students with access and exposure to diverse experiences not found in traditional school settings.

Services Provided:
  • Digital Marketing
  • Strategic Communication
  • Brand Repositioning
  • Strategic Matchmaking

University Prep Schools has always been a forward-thinking educational institution, but it needed aesthetic appeal and messaging that communicated its vision and values to the public.

Business Challenge:

University Prep Schools is comprised of seven schools and two districts that had become virtually autonomous due to fluctuating leadership and a lack of cohesive messaging. Over time, the districts’ relationship had devolved into one marred by competition and rivalry. Our challenge was to bring the system under one brand umbrella.

Ignition Execution:

Ignition first conducted in-depth research, including an analysis of 10 local and national competitors. After determining the key areas in need of attention, we then conducted five Alpha Panels, comprised of representatives of U Prep Schools’ target audiences to gain further insight into the strengths and weaknesses and everything in between. Upon completion of the research, Ignition drafted a complete marketing, PR and rebranding plan, which remains their roadmap today.


Since execution commenced, Ignition has facilitated a complete brand overhaul designing a new logo, crafting completely revamped and newly-cohesive messaging along with content for the system’s new website. In addition, Ignition has garnered significant media coverage for U Prep Schools’ programs, increasing awareness and visibility of the schools. Ignition continues to work with the educational institution to ensure the rebranding is successfully communicated to all of the institution’s targeted audiences.