BPP Professional Education is one of Europe’s leading specialist providers of professional education. They asked us to help them create a new campaign direction and to bring their internal design and marketing resource into the process.

BPP Professional Education delivers a range of industry-leading professional qualifications, including those offered by the accountancy bodies ACCA and CIMA. But in 2015 ACCA and CIMA presented BPP many challenges and changes that would affect the traditional booking patterns they were accustomed to. A declining UK market was going to make it more difficult to recruit new students, so a greater focus was needed on retaining existing students and encouraging others to switch from competitors.

The benefits to a business of locating to an enterprise zone are business rate discounts or enhanced capital allowances. But beyond these immediate financial incentives and the excellent quality of life Cheshire affords, it is the potential synergies and opportunities that are fostered between so many established and emerging science businesses, and the energy created by amassing a pool of such unique talent.

Designing the approach
BPP had a well established internal design team that they wanted to deploy to create the visual side of the ACCA and CIMA campaigns, but they needed a clear direction. So rather than focus on typefaces, colours and tones we considered the substance and conviction that would give them a sense of direction, and allow them to explore the visual executions.

We created a living wall of ever-evolving, strategy, positioning, ideas and language to enable and inspire rather than to control. Through a series of strategic and creative sprints we quickly developed and shaped thoughts bringing the BPP team into the process.

Rather than agency reveals and magic ‘ta-da’ moments, the wall became the focal point for all discussion. This way, the BPP team could get involved in the entire thought process rather than being a bolt-on service at the end. This increased buy-in, understanding (from both sides) and healthy discussion. Our final output was a set of words that gave the campaign a voice and a personality, which made it easier for design and art direction to fall naturally out of the process.

The power of confidence
Although there are practical aspects to choosing a tuition provider, we gleaned that there is also a lot of emotion involved too. There are repercussions for students who fail, from having to fit in a resit to the cost of funding the exam and another programme. In some cases, failure can also lead to a job loss. There are many reasons for a student to lack confidence.

We noted that competitors communicated in a cold and corporate manner, and that there was the opportunity to fight feelings of doubt. Through our strategic idea: the power of confidence, we went about creating campaign messaging that would boost confidence in BPP. In doing so we set up a battle between the confident one (BPP) and the not so confident ones (their competitors).

Fully immersed and engaged with the idea, the BPP team where able to make clear creative judgement calls based on a rich understanding of the strategic idea and the voice we’d created.

We avoided listing features, as had been common across the entire sector, in favour of insightful messaging, showing an understanding of students and what mattered to them. It’s simple: empathy breeds confidence and confidence breeds success.

And that’s exactly what these ambitious students were looking for.

Fully immersed and engaged with the idea, the BPP team where able to make clear creative judgement calls based on a rich understanding of the strategic idea and the voice we’d created.