Cape UK was undergoing a major change brought on by external circumstances and catalysed by a need to refocus the business for the future. Their brand name was purchased by another business and therefore there was a legal need to rebrand, however, it was also the perfect opportunity to kickstart the organisation’s direction, and reunite the internal team under a new purpose. The management team needed to rethink the future of the organisation in a fast-changing marketplace, and ensure their brand and products were appealing to their three major target audiences: young people from less advantaged backgrounds, business leaders, and teachers/educators.
Our team worked with the client in a series of workshops, surveys and focus groups to define the organisation’s direction and to capture the perception of the organisation and what its strengths and weaknesses were. Feedback was also sought from external audiences including lapsed, current and prospect customers, as well as suppliers, partner organisations and funders.
The new brand name was inspired during this research phase. Certain words were repeated: innovative, creative, supportive, collaborative, imaginative. These adjectives were key to all activities provided by the organisation to all audiences. We are IVE was born.
The new identity was created in partnership with the internal teams, ensuring that the whole organisation had buy-in for the new brand and felt empowered to become brand ambassadors. Three sub-brands were created for the launch in 2017: Creative (young people focused), Supportive (educator focused) and Innovative (business focused). The colour scheme reflected the target audience and each had its own style guidance for implementation across collateral.
We worked with the client’s team to plan and implement a launch plan including PR, advertising, advertorials, launch events, a refresh of the social media channels and a new website. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive from all stakeholders. Within the first few weeks of the launch campaign, the new brand had reached over a quarter of a million people in the target markets and boosted website traffic by over 25%. Direct leads were generated from the advertorials and the senior team were asked to speak at events and were offered interviews in prestigious regional and national publications.
In 2019 a brand refresh was triggered by the launch of the client’s new 25-year business strategy. Their new vision is for a creative nation that embraces change. The organisation had further developed in terms of its remit and target audience, and the sub-brands especially required refinement. The main identity was revisited also to ensure alignment with the new strategy and objectives. The three sub-brands were cut to two new ones: hothouse and studio, providing creative consultancy and training, and youth leadership engagement respectively. The names were chosen in collaboration with the client, and the Narrative studio created the sub-brand identities. The studio brand had to appeal to teachers, donors and young people, whilst the hothouse brand had to appeal to HR / L&D Directors at large ‘traditional’ businesses in finance, manufacturing and other established industries.
The feel of the brand is more mature and stripped back, allowing the messaging to come to the fore. We also suggested an update of the colour palette to reflect the new, brave and bold direction of the organisation. The imagery was chosen to be aspirational but more mature, to reflect the change in direction.
A marketing strategy was developed by Narrative’s strategists in line with the new brands so that the business was fully supported to meet its business objectives. The refreshed identities were presented to the management team, and the trustees, and once approved, those and the marketing strategy were presented to the whole We are IVE team to much positive feedback.
The new brands were rolled out to a new website first, followed by new stationery, social media skins and brochure refreshes. Their new brand guidelines not only covered typefaces, colour palettes and image guidance, it also included copywriting direction, tone and vocabulary. Training was given the internal teams to ensure consistency and buy-in to the new brand.
A content strategy was prioritised for 2020 and is in full progress with strong results including increases in keyword rankings and coverage in new publications as content is diversified and specialised.
Following this process, the CEO said:
“Working with Narrative over the past couple of years has felt a lot like working with a bunch of friends that you can speak to really honestly, knowing they will give an honest answer back. They are the sort of people you’d enjoy having a beer with after work. I think that speaks reams.” – Rosi Lister, CEO at We are IVE