We performed a competitive review to determine how other curricula publishers trial their products. We interviewed existing customers who piloted the curriculum to understand what factors they considered in making their purchase decisions. And finally, we interviewed their sales force to get an in-the-field perspective on the challenges they face convincing districts to sign up for a trial.
Our net – net was that the pilot program was an as yet untapped resource. It was rarely offered by the sales force because they had not recognized the opportunity it presented as a strategic tool as well as a sales tool.
As a sales tool, it was the single best opportunity for LAB-AIDS to make a sale because the fact is that any teacher who tried the program became a believer. The challenge was that even though the pilot provided teachers and districts with the curriculum, textbooks and all of the materials totally free of charge, it did represent a significant time commitment on the part of the teacher and a risk on the part of the district who must consistently retain their test scores. Making a change is never easy for districts, especially in this highly charged education environment.
It also presented a unique strategic opportunity for us to drive home the platform of thought leadership and the brand essence “A Catalyst for Learning”.
At LAB-AIDS® everything they do is focused on being “A Catalyst for Learning.” For over 45 years, the company has been developing, manufacturing and publishing supplementary and core curriculum products that help students better understand science concepts through direct experience.
We re-designed the LAB-AIDS pilot program and relaunched it with a new name and brand Identity. The new name: LAB-AIDS Catalyst Project. By turning this into a movement we were able to re-program the mindset of both the sales force and the target.
We wrote a mission for the movement: To immerse “select” teachers and their classes in the comprehensive LAB-AIDS hands-on curriculum and materials so that they can EXPERIENCE SCIENCE in a way that has yielded a level of results and student engagement not seen in textbook-only classrooms.
The Lab-Aids Catalyst Project is specifically designed to enable teachers to experience the impact and effect that LAB-AIDS’ middle and high school curriculum has on their students. We do this through a series of touch points including:
- Customized curricula and materials, delivered free of charge right to the classroom in ample quantities for them to fully immerse their students in the program for one full year.
- An online community which offers educators opportunities to interact with each other and with mentor “catalysts” – exchanging and sharing not only to facilitate a successful trial but also to help share knowledge and improve the product.
- Rich professional development opportunities and training programs – available online and via retreats and events.
The Catalyst Project launch included a dedicated corporate id, website, print advertising, collateral and much more is planned.