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The Skills & Growth Company was one of Cheshire East Council’s first ‘arm’s length’ companies, with the remit of attracting and enabling inward investment and facilitating skills development in the region. Free from the Council processes, they would be able to work more efficiently, benefit from opportunities to collaborate and combine their wide-ranging expertise to provide a one-stop service. Thrive were appointed early in the process and partnered with them to develop the brand ensuring buy-in from all stakeholders throughout the process.
Its identity needed to sit alongside Cheshire East, yet have sufficient differentiation to stand alone. It had to stand out from similar organisations too, hence a thorough competitor audit was carried out.
It was vital that the design captured the momentum and dynamism of the organisation’s role, having a positive and forward-looking attitude.
The design solution combined two important components, the ‘arrow graphic’ which conveys that sense of momentum and the use of the magenta as its primary colour. It really helped to differentiate it from the amber and green wheatsheaf Council colourways. Underpinning this new brand identity, we developed a concise distillation of their brand purpose:
Our ambition is to help others fulfil theirs
The logo designs were created through an inclusive process involving primary stakeholders, which were then ‘pressure-tested’ against our key criteria of:
• Visibility Will the logo stand out in its surroundings to provide quick and memorable identification?
• Application How well can the symbol – and any accompanying elements – be used in a variety of applications?
• Simplicity Is the symbol’s concept easy to identify?
• Descriptiveness Does the logo adequately represent what the organisation stands for?
• Retention Will the logo interest and empathise enough with its audience to be remembered?
The development of core brand messaging and creative approach has been applied to various communication collateral such as Investment and Corporate Relocation brochures, Networking support, infographic content, video and a unique online survey that enabled The Skills and Growth Company to understand what young people in the region thought of the careers advice and guidance they had received and put in place a future strategy to address the findings.
Councillor George Hayes, chairman of the Skills & Growth Company, said:
“I am extremely proud of the outcomes the company has achieved during its first year of operation. Our performance has surpassed our expectations and met or exceeded our business plan targets”.