A helping hand

The other week, Keith (our Planning Director) and India (Account Manager) ran a session called ‘Branding & Graphic Design’. The session was part of a wider course called ‘Creative Leaders’; a 6-day training programme designed to attract young people interested in developing skills for work opportunities. Here’s how they got on…

1625 Independent People is a charity that supports young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  For over 30 years they have helped young people to live happily and independently by providing essential services, such as:

  • Finding secure homes
  • Teaching life-skills
  • Offering training & advice
  • Helping access job opportunities

A couple of weeks ago, Keith and I went to deliver an interactive session in partnership with 1625ip. We divided the day into two parts. The morning session was a general introduction to branding and agency life and covered topics like the history of branding, what agencies do and how a strong brand creates tangible value. We then had an interactive afternoon where the attendees created their own brands.

To give them some context of how powerful branding can be, we discussed branding wins– Nike purchasing their iconic swish logo for just $35 – and branding losses– Gerald Ratner’s epic fail in 1991, which saw his own company lose 500 million pounds within 10 months, and himself get sacked – naturally!

We also ran an experiment throughout the day where three bowls of sweets were laid out on the table: Cadbury’s Roses, Celebrations, and non-branded sweets. All of the branded sweets were eaten but nobody took a non-branded sweet, reaffirming the idea that people are more drawn to brands they recognise over those they don’t.

At 1625ip, our vision is a world where all young people have a safe place and trusted adults to turn to, and can access the opportunities they need. Our mission is to prevent homelessness, keep young people safe and support them to be the best they can be.

For the final part of the session, we asked the audience to develop their own brands and logos, while thinking about a few key questions; What or who do you want to reflect?Who do you want to appeal to? How do you want to appear? What attitude or personality do you want to portray? What will you do to get your brand noticed?

Although initially hesitant, with Keith’s reassurance they really got into it. One girl created a brand called ‘Dogs for Anxiety’, inspired by how a dog had helped her sister’s anxiety when leaving the home. Another concepted an interactive video game aimed at schools where users could virtually experience homelessness. His idea was to give young people a better understanding of how it feels to be at risk of having nowhere to live, and the dangers homeless people face daily. His logo was 2 different halves of a face – one half represented the face of the homeless, the other, the face of those lucky enough to have a roof over their head.

At the end of the session, we talked about ways in which they could get into these careers – with a real emphasis placed on desirable personality traits as well as suitable aptitudes. It was a truly inspiring day, and the team at 1625ip were extremely grateful for Keith’s time and knowledge.