Building a credible, aspirational alternative to Higher Education
For those young people that didn’t go to University the paths available used to be littered with dead ends.
The government recognised the need to create a more credible alternative to higher education – and move vocational education from an inferior alternative to something that had full support of employers, credibility with parents and enough kudos to attract young people.
Rise a ‘new era’ of apprenticeships.
The National Apprenticeship Service was set up to pioneer this transformation. Whilst great in-roads had been made, it was shackled by a tired and confusing identity, which consequently meant it was unable to effectively connect with people.
Through in depth qualitative research to identify needs and behaviours of its audiences, mapping user journeys and auditing the existing experience, it became apparent that if we were to address this challenge we needed to fundamentally shift the way the service was organised.
We therefore proposed that the service adopt a new brand architecture, effectively creating two distinct brands: ‘National Apprenticeship Service’ was positioned as the ‘go to’ for employers and the authority on apprenticeships. It was also the internal brand. Alongside this, the ‘Apprenticeships’ brand was designed to connect with young people and their parents. It was positioned as the external product of the service.
We enable our nation to generate a more highly skilled workforce. Through Apprenticeships, skills competitions and awards, which create opportunity, support development and showcase excellence.
Our endeavours enable us to:
- transform the lives of our people
- stimulate growth and strengthen our economy
- instill pride in the skilled people of our nation
To maintain a relationship between the two brands we created the core thought of ‘Inspiring Transformation’. This provided a consistent spirit and attitude to communication, but allowed for different expressions both between the two brands and amongst them.
This simple idea immediately enabled each brand to speak with a message and tone that resonated. It focused and streamlined communication and gave the service the agility it needed.
Throughout the process we consulted with internal teams across the nation and ran a comprehensive internal engagement campaign. We actively encouraged local government and employers to adopt the Apprenticeships brand for their own campaigns, so we piloted campaigns in specific regions to create best practice models for other local campaigns to follow.
Purpose were the lead agency for the project collaborating with specialist partners where necessary.
- Qualitative and quantitative research (In collaboration with ICM Research)
- Audience journey maps
- Brand experience audit
- Brand strategy
- Brand architecture
- Campaign planning (In collaboration with Mindshare and Claremont PR)
- Visual and verbal identity
- Photographic and illustrative assets
- Messaging framework (In collaboration with Claremont PR)
- Exhibition stand design and build (In collaboration with Skyline)
- National awards conference (In collaboration with Fresh Events)
- Apprenticeship vacancies app
- Internal communication campaign
- National advertising campaign (In collaboration with Mindshare and Claremont PR)
- Brand guidelines
- Campaign toolkits
- Creative surgeries
- Appointing and managing brand ambassadors
- Building online asset management system
Through the collective endeavour of everybody working both at and with the National Apprenticeship Service we have transformed the perceptions and impact of Apprenticeships.
The Apprenticeships identity has also been recognised in many design industry awards too.