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Discovery, branding, and online engagement tool

Skills and Education Group—a partnership of two founding stakeholders combining more than a century of experience working closely with colleges, providers, learners, and partners in the further education sector in the UK—wanted a new brand identity, a branding and copy style guide, and a website that represented them, all while still conveying each partner’s unique identity. To further support its members, the group also wanted to build a membership hub to house communication, continuing professional development events, and resource tools for efficient access and sharing.


After a comprehensive discovery process, in which we evaluated the central partner’s (emfec) existing brand, we strategically created a brand that fully met Skills and Education Group’s expectations and goals. This logo and brand capture the clean, fresh, forward-thinking Skills and Education Group vision, and, in light of the amalgamation of the two brands, emphasized brand and organizational cohesion, and the value, strengths, and benefits of the new group to both its staff and external stakeholders.


In addition, we developed the Skills and Education website with careful consideration for the staff and end-users of the two founding groups, and ensured a seamless transition to the Skills and Education brand, and excellent functionality and UX for diverse users.


In September 2019, we launched the membership hub which reflects the collective voices of the Skills and Education Group team and its members, and is at once intuitive, engaging, and user friendly, offering value to membership and supporting education sector stakeholders in collaborating with one another. Together, these components provide absolute clarity of Skills and Education Group’s goals, services, and commitment to the education community, and extend its reach in the education sector, both in the UK and abroad.



      Visit the website and hub


      The change


      Since November 2019 when the membership hub went live, the number of visitors to the Skills and Education Group website has doubled month on month over the previous year.


      The number of bookings for professional development events has increased by 160% over 2018/19.


      Our discovery process

      To create the Skills and Education Group brand, Be the Change Group began with a comprehensive discovery process with both senior leadership and all staff from each of the two organizations merging to form Skills and Education Group. This process included examination and analysis of messaging, audience, content, look and feel, and functionality. To fully inform our understanding of the continuing skills and education sector in the UK, we also conducted a market review of similar organizations and applied our findings to make recommendations regarding the development of both the Skills and Education website and brand.

      See brand discovery report


      After surveying 39 Skills and Education Group projects, senior leadership, and staff members using a series of general, emotive, brand-specific, and messaging and copy style questions, we coded the responses, summarized the content, and identified key themes regarding branding for consideration by the Skills and Education Group team. Following the discovery we provided three brand options, and ultimately landed on the one that best represented the organization.


      Website summary

      To support both Skills and Education Group staff in the delivery of services, and its membership, we built a brand new custom WordPress site that included a number of features and resources tailored to the future education sector.

      Visit website

      Our solution

      Membership Hub

      Following a secondary discovery process, which included a background, market, and literature review, and a member survey and member engagement sessions to explore what members felt they needed to improve in their roles and to identify tools they would like to see on the platform, we custom-built a membership hub for efficient member access and sharing.

      In partnership with our clients and in consultation with their members, we built a members only section of their website that helps members to connect, learn about policy briefings, and access professional development resources, all from a single log-in.
      We developed a simple, smart event-booking system with Stripe payment integration. The smart booking system recognizes if a user is a member with a free or discounted event spot, or, if a user is not a member, that a full rate is to be applied. Users can make bookings with ease via minimal booking fields and full integration with the client’s CRM, which we assisted in optimizing.
      Once a member has booked an event, they have access to a private event room. This room is meant to be a virtual classroom where attendees can have conversation, see other event attendees’ profiles, and access all teaching resources from that event.
      This area of the website is only available to logged-in members. It provides a series of continuing professional development resources, such as videos, webinars, teaching plans, and documents. Members can filter by category and resource type, and submit their own resources.
      In our discovery phase, we meet with members who helped advise on what would be of most value to them. One idea that came up was policy briefs. Members were finding policies hard to find and hard to understand, so they asked Skills and Education Group to provide a sole listing that highlights who should be paying attention to particular policies, a brief summary with key elements, and links for further details if needed. This way members would be informed and up-to-date on all relevant policies in the further education sector.


      Ensuring the solution works for our intended users

      Everything we do, we test. In building the Skills and Education website and membership hub, we made sure to user-test every feature at every phase. This ensured that, together, the brand and website deliver a seamless user experience that is at once intuitive, engaging, and user friendly in offering high value to membership and supporting collaboration between continuing education organizations and personnel.


      Continuing our collaboration with the Skills and Education Group team

      The launch was not the end, it was just the beginning. We continue to support the Skills and Education Group through website maintenance, the development and testing of new features based on member feedback, communications strategy, and design support for project-related assets.

      For the last five years, Be the Change Group has been at the forefront of developing our brands. Time and time again, they have shown insight into our industry and innovation in the services they provide. Always quick to respond to our needs, they provide us with a high-quality service, from creating our logos to overseeing our websites to working with our IT team to build and implement complex code. They are a trusted partner, and we appreciate their honesty, creativity, and professionalism.

      — Scott Forbes, Assistant Director Membership, Foundation and External Affairs