Re-Positioning And Rebrand Of The UK’s Largest Sectoral Employer Organisation

Brand positioning, architecture and identity; naming; strapline and messaging proposition; membership and youth engagement; look and feel; brand guidelines; template, collateral + campaign roll out (film, photography, print, digital, social); employee engagement

EEF, The Manufacturers’ Organisation, (a 120 year old institution) had struggled to attract new members, engage with the manufacturing industry or increase revenue. The organisation’s proposition was dated and the brand architecture was confusing.

Britain is one of the world’s biggest manufacturing nations. Almost 3 million people work in the sector and deliver almost half of all UK exports. Manufacturing companies drive over 60% of UK R&D. The sector is adapting and transforming every day, but EEF was not relevant to the audience they served, and were becoming less and less significant.  It was time for drastic change.

Strength+Honour were engaged to investigate how EEF was viewed and how it could be reinvigorated. The project involved meticulous research, brand strategy and creative thinking which culminated with a transformation programme and name change after 125 years, which places the next generation of creators, engineers and manufacturers at the very heart of the organization.

Recommendations included –

  • New name and identity
  • Internal cultural change programme
  • Redefinition of the membership proposition
  • A focus on apprentices by engaging a youth audience
  • Driving engagement by building a community platform

In  February 2019, Strength+Honour completed the rebranding and repositioning of EEF as Make UK.  The new brand launched to over 4000 attendees at the National Manufacturing Conference, hosted by Steph McGovern with speakers including Jeremy Corbyn and Greg Clark.

The objectives of the rebrand were to:

  1. Raise profile, visibility and reputation in the marketplace
  2. Simplify and communicate with greater clarity and impact
  3. Matter more to more UK manufacturers
  4. Inspire the manufacturing sector and the next generation of manufacturers and engineers

The scope included a complete programme, from research phase through to brand positioning, architecture and identity; strapline and messaging proposition; employee engagement; brand roll out across all areas of collateral and communication; and communication and advertising creation.

The project required meticulous research and planning, and bold, original and disruptive brand and communications thinking, centred on the needs and requirements of the manufacturing sector. The new brand identity and name reflect this, and demonstrates composure, positivity and a focus on the future.

Since launch, membership has increased by 12%, and by 36% in members aged under 25. The Make UK website engages users for 3 times longer than the original EEF site, and social media followers have increased by 26%.

“Strength+Honour took us on a challenging, yet inspiring, creative journey.

The project has demanded a level of bravery, a determination to succeed, a truly open and collaborative relationship and our complete trust in S+H to deliver.”

Mark Bernard, Chief Strategy & Corporate Development Officer