The Faculty of Science and Technology at Lancaster University works in partnership with business and industry through the highest quality research and teaching, in order to make a demonstrable and valued economic and societal impact. The faculty required a brand identity for their business partnerships team that was distinctive, professional, innovative and forward-thinking. It also had to be versatile so that it could be translated across all print and digital communications. The primary audience was businesses, including both local and regional SMEs, as well as national and international businesses. The identity also had to resonate with internal staff, academics and stakeholders.
The biggest challenge facing the faculty was that their audience often stated it was difficult to access services and felt unsure how to approach the University. They felt their offer could be simplified in order to make it more accessible to their audience. Whilst they knew the services provided were valuable, they felt the external messaging for their offer lacked substance and got lost in the marketplace.
In addition to this strategic piece of work, they also needed assistance to develop new collateral which consolidated this new offer into a single, more portable item, that could work across digital and print.
We arranged an internal briefing session which assembled our experts around a table to discuss ideas to help solve this problem. Our longstanding presence in the higher education sector means our experts have extensive knowledge in helping faculties and research institutes promote and showcase their offer to businesses, stakeholders and benefactors. We also carried out desktop research to observe what our client and their competitors were currently doing in the marketplace. Whilst our client’s current offer was rudimentary, they had a number of very strong case studies and stories which provided a significant amount of social proof that we could use for mechanisms for conversion.
We also carried out a short internal audience mapping exercise using personas to identity and validate our knowledge and assumptions about the audience, such as their goals, behaviours and characteristics. In order to develop a versatile piece of material that could convey this new offer, we spent some time understanding the typical sales cycle of their Business Development Managers (BDMs). This included a telephone interview and some Q&A via email. We wanted to understand their working patterns so that we could develop something practical and suited to their style of working. It was this combination of research and experience that led us to determine a solid approach to solving the challenge.
We developed new messaging to make it easy for customers to identify the entry point at which they should access the organisation. We deliberately moved away from using academic and sector specific language, such as ‘collaborative research’ and ’quantum technology’, and instead used the language of business. In addition to adopting benefit driven business language, we again, extracted the concealed value within case studies to showcase the positive impact the team has had on other businesses. Our approach was to place more emphasis on the messaging and to really highlight the specific value propositions that the team offered. We restructured the way messages were released by placing customer information needs at the core.
We created a new and innovative 3D illustrated orb style identity, which translates with ease across print and digital assets, such as animations and brand idents. Different orbs were created to represent the different specialisms within the team and a distinctive colour was chosen to represent each specialism from the university’s secondary colour palette. We also created an engaging and on brand animation following our established process: script editing; storyboarding; style frames; animation; and post-production. We also supplied voiceover and background music. We also suggesting creating a short brand ident that could be used to book end existing digital content to bring it in line with the new identity.
We carried out an audience mapping exercise using
We created a new and innovative 3D illustratred orb style identity, which translates with ease across print and digital.
We developed new messaging, adopting benefit-driven business language.
This striking and recognisable design has been extremely well-received across the university and its network of businesses and stakeholders. The animation is widely used by staff to promote the faculty.
Our client was so impressed with our approach to solving their challenging brief that they commissioned us to provide copywriting services to execute the messaging properly across all collateral.
We suggested using 360° photography to create cost effective and realistic virtual tours of the facilities. This enabled potential users to view the facilities from any location, without the need to visit the site.
The virtual tours, which are mobile responsive, live online and are embedded within the University website, and can be shared via email and embedded within presentations. They can be viewed here.