A million ways to activate your brand
City & Guilds is the UK’s largest apprenticeships awarding body. For over 130 years, this international heritage brand has been the kitemark for vocational learning.
However, perceptions of being outdated and unsupportive had led to falling sales of its qualifications. To address these, City & Guilds planned to take to market a new positioning – ‘Imagine what we can achieve together’. We were tasked with creating the platform to activate this and drive sales.
When we talked to customers, from 14-16 year-old learners to training centre tutors and employers, we found that we weren’t just facing a communications challenge. We needed to strengthen the product offering and break down barriers to apprenticeship take-up by building a collaborative community for all of City & Guilds’ audiences.
In a nutshell
In 2011, brand activation must go deeper than rebadging and broadcast. For City & Guilds, consumer engagement started with a new product set, and was enhanced by community building and interaction.
We knew that, because of City & Guilds’ heritage and reach, no other awarding body was able to bring together every audience and activate such an ambitious positioning. The potential was huge. Our insight told us that at a time when the world was talking about fewer opportunities, City & Guilds needed to talk about more…
Our unifying idea was Million Extra: an ambitious mission to get a million people into apprenticeships by 2013.
We brought this to life through a range of unique products and platforms:
- Apprenticeship Extra: The world’s most comprehensive and well-supported apprenticeships package.
- Extraordinary Employers: A programme to recognise employers, both large and small, on the front line of vocational training.
- Million Celebrations: A platform to recognise learners’, centres’ and employers’ efforts and successes along the way.
- Hello Future: A community platform for learners, delivering content to guide and support them throughout their journey towards vocational excellence.
Brought together on the Million Extra website, our products and platforms were activated through compelling content and inspiring, integrated communications, kicked off during Apprenticeship Week with a huge event hosted by politicians, business leaders and ‘The Apprentice’s’ Karren Brady.
Within 6 months, we achieved:
- A PR reach of 350 million, with almost a billion ‘opportunities to see’.
- 8.3 million online ad impressions on key HR sites.
- 8,000 website visitors within 10 working days.
- 670 sales appointments with training centres.
- 19,000 extra apprenticeships pledged by blue-chip employers.
By creating this strategic platform, we’ve given City & Guilds the means to transform their business for years to come. And Million Extra is just getting started...
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