With a curriculum of over 360 courses delivered to more than 7,000 students each year, plus both a further and higher education offer, Havering College is the largest education provider in London. As soon as we started to work with the College, it became clear they were in a very competitive landscape. Therefore to create the best solutions, ideas and strategies we had to build a strong, in-depth understanding of their offer.
We really focused on their place in the community and used our Brand World research tool to compare with other local colleges. In this situation geographical competition is critical as most parents and students limit their college choice to commutable distances. It was important not to market Havering College as just ‘one of the choices’, but try to establish a brand personality that reflects the differences that they offer, and the experience students get when they go there.
We visited both College campuses to get a great understanding of the facilities. We also held focus groups with students, speaking about their views of the College, their requirements from education, and even the details of their family decisions around education choices. Many of the students came from the local or surrounding area so we also analysed geographical choices and considerations.
All of this background research has helped us work for the College for over four years, delivering a wide range of projects. As their brand guardians and sounding board, we have worked on bespoke projects such as branding an in-house student-run café and a hair and makeup salon. We have delivered bigger projects such as the development of apprenticeship marketing and a large careers event linked to a national campaign.
The most significant work has been creating a marketing campaign strategy, which helped bring brand consistency across all faculties and much needed impact to their marketing. We initially created a three year campaign entitled “I want to”, but it turned out to be so successful that we revamped it for this year so it can run for at least another two years.
As part of that revamp we also created new brand guidelines, as the main corporate brand had become fragmented. The College had evolved and now needed to work with sub-brands and external partners a lot more. A key challenge therefore was to work with the marketing team to define corporate work for the College as a whole followed by specific campaigns, and then work out how that would all link seamlessly together.