We launched The Agency for Education in 2009. Given the volume of work we had done for the education sector before that point, both directly and indirectly, channelling our marketing through a focussed, more immediately relatable vehicle was the best strategy for continued growth in the sector.
The circumstances surrounding how we started in the education sector (with the value of hindsight, obviously) has turned out to be fundamental to how we approach partnerships, grow relationships and our business in general.
We were delivering great creative and brand leadership indirectly at first through a consultancy, working with schools like St Edward’s Oxford, Queen Anne’s Caversham, St Joseph’s to name a few; but when said consultancy folded, it was a disaster for us and the schools effected.
Projects with hard deadlines were languishing unfinished. We were among a host of suppliers chasing payments with no sign of it ever materialising. Schools in some cases had already paid the consultants in full. Trust had broken down and we were left to pick up the pieces.
It was a tremendous lesson in the strength of relationships. We stepped up to help the schools who had been left in the lurch, in many cases building partnerships that have lasted for many years or are still strong today. We paid printers and production companies to allow for prospectus to be printed, videos to be finalised and marketing material to be delivered in to schools in time for open events. It is the best example I can give of us, The Agency, genuinely going over and above to make sure no one was left in the cold.
That was then and 15 years on and we’ve worked with some fantastic names in the education sector. Fabulous independent institutions like, Canford, Oakham, RGS Guildford, King’s Worcester, Repton, Ruckleigh, King’s Gloucester – with projects ranging from full brand development and positioning through to stand-alone projects like prospectus suites, identity refreshes, videos or signage.
On the state side; Manor Multi Academy Trust, North Bromsgrove High School, Humphrey Davy school – are a few names that we have worked with on a broad range of brand and marketing activities.
FE and adult learning too – we worked on naming the internationally recognised partnership between the Financial Times and IE Business School – Headspring, GDA6, Cranfield School of Management are some big names that jump to mind…
On relaunching our main Agency identity a couple of months back, if you know us, you might have noticed that education wasn’t part of that. That’s because we’ve taken the time to speak to customers and evaluate whether education remains separate or becomes part of our main brand, adopting the new look.
We got clear feedback that the new brand was the way forward and here’s why;
The value of commercial experience
We have always known that our commercial brand experience was important to schools. The fact we can bring a broader understanding and ideas outside of the industry confines has always been a plus when we meet schools for the first time.
The flexibility of our new identity
Our new brand was designed in a way that it can flex to fit with the needs of any sector. The versatility of the identity structure means images and messages can be easily tailored to create a memorable visual platform. The new look is more modern, vibrant and was considered to be more memorable.
The last reason is one of simple practicality. It is something we talk to customers about all the time. Working smarter. If the choice is doing 1 thing really well or dividing your time to try and do two things quite well – go for the former, everytime.
The Agency will continue to build on our experience in education and we’re actively working with schools on videos, social media campaigns, signage, brand evolution, marketing, merchandising, fundraising initiatives – everything needed to connect with their audiences. We have worked with international schools in the UAE, Europe, and China, plus schools of all shapes and sizes nationally of course. That’s not going to change – but the Agency for Education will simply be The Agency. Different name, same awesome brand, creative, marketing support when you need it.