Inspiring a flight school and its students to reach new heights.
The Client: Sterling Flight Training
Sterling Flight Training is a rapidly growing flight training academy for aspiring private and commercial pilots. Led by seasoned airline executives, Sterling is a distinctive institution in preparing future pilots for first-class careers in aviation at their campus in Jacksonville, Florida. The business sought a brand agency with airline marketing experience, and W.Bradford was honored to support the company’s growth with our award-winning services.
Business Challenges & Objectives
Formerly a family-owned flight school, Sterling built a strong sense of community and connection between students, flight instructors, and campus leadership.
Under new ownership by experienced airline executives, however, the vision for Sterling’s ability to expand its student population and geographic footprint raised a critical need to rethink the visual and written positioning of the institution.
Sterling engaged W.Bradford and its airline marketing expertise to reimagine the institution’s brand identity and foundational marketing channels for appealing to future pilots and their parents. As part of the new vision, W.Bradford sought to convey the advantages students have at Sterling as a result of leadership with over 100 years of collective experience developing highly successful pilots, in addition to creating a sleek, premium brand that would itself be a differentiator among other flight schools. Additionally, Sterling sought to leverage the broad branding and lead generation experience the W.Bradford team has accumulated on behalf of higher education clients.
Brand Identity Development
To achieve the client’s objectives, W.Bradford first sought deeper insights into aviation career trends, the flight training process, airline marketing trends, and the vision the institution’s new leaders had for Sterling. We discovered not only the growing shortage of regional and commercial pilots in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, more than 637,000 new commercial pilots will be needed worldwide by the year 2036.
Website Redesign & Social Media
Following onboarding, we developed an overarching brand strategy and elevated brand identity, redesigned the website with SEO-optimized copy, and launched a highly engaging social media program. The website embodied the new brand and the company’s commitment to superior flight education. Smart calls to action and a user-friendly website structure encouraged visitors to explore flight training programs, book a discovery flight, and become a pilot. Fun and educational social media posts drove audiences to the website, further contributing to the business’ lead generation efforts.
Advertising & Promotional Elements
Beyond the foundational branding components that define the Sterling Flight Training student experience, W.Bradford developed a series of promotional and advertising elements to raise visibility for the flight school and spur future pilots to see the advantages a Sterling pilot license can provide.
Exterior Signage & Design Concepts
Beyond the more foundational components of the successful brand and digital marketing initiatives led by W.Bradford, we utilized the industrial design skills among our team to create renderings of new paint colors, signage, and interior decor to formulate a fully seamless brand experience for Sterling students and staff.