Branding and Website Project - ECPR
The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) is a European-focussed scholarly society with a rich heritage, international profile and trusted reputation in the field of politics and international relations. Mackman worked with the ECPR to carry out a re-brand of the organisation to coincide with and help celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2020. More recently, we built on many of the elements developed as part of the organisational rebrand project to create a brand new, standalone blogsite, 'The Loop', for the ECPR to bring together ideas and research from all branches of political science.
We were delighted to win this tender and we were privileged to be selected to work with the ECPR on their anniversary brand refresh. With a wide range of stakeholders to engage with, the project needed a highly collaborative approach. One of the key challenges for the ECPR was the management of consistency when releasing their visual brand to external stakeholders, and providing a selection of professionally prepared templates and document guides both for print and digital mediums.
- The ECPR was founded in 1970 and quickly became the leading European academic association with a mission to advance political science.
- Based in Colchester, Essex, they have over 300 institutional members in nearly 50 countries.
- Since they were established, they have grown a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive international network to help the world understand and benefit from the critical importance of political science.
- The ECPR initially approached Mackman to refresh their brand as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.
- Mackman worked with the team at ECPR to implement a brand roll-out plan to support the launch and celebration of their anniversary year, with a solid foundation of insight from the many stakeholders within and outside of the organisation.
- Following the rebrand, Mackman designed and implemented 'The Loop', the ECPR's new blog platform.
Promoting political understanding
The ECPR was founded by a group of twelve European universities in 1970. Fifty years later, they are the leading scholarly society for political science in Europe. As part of their mission to advance political science, they offer a range of support to political scholars and academics. This includes the delivery of training and career development, the provision of forums and research development networks, the issuing of grants, as well as their prestigious publishing programme which promotes and shares the latest research with a global audience.
The ECPR approached Mackman in the latter part of 2018, requiring support with their website design and an overall brand refinement centred around their 50th anniversary. After initially considering a smaller-scale celebration to commemorate their anniversary, they decided to take the opportunity to address their current brand and how they wanted it to develop for the next 50 years. This entailed Mackman being tasked with delving deeper into their requirements and developing a brand roadmap which would seek to protect the organisation's brand for the future, as well as strengthening relations with stakeholders and external audiences.
With a wide range of stakeholders to engage with, the project needed a highly collaborative approach. One of the key challenges for the ECPR was the management of consistency when releasing their visual brand to external stakeholders, and providing a selection of professionally prepared templates and document guides both for print and digital mediums.
Creating a brand for the future
In 2019, we focused on the realignment of the ECPR brand. We developed a familiarity with them as an organisation, their audience and membership, and an understanding of how they were utilising their marketing assets. This was done through a series of marketing insight workshops on mission and vision generation, persona segmentation, and customer journeys. Using this insight, we planned a strategy to outline how we could best support them with their brand redevelopment project. Once we had determined how they intended to represent themselves as an organisation for the future, we could then get to work on their brand image.
The aim was to reinforce a brand identity which was strong and bold while avoiding any conflict with their subject focus. We reshaped their brand logo with the introduction of a block background which, while retaining the essence of their brand, modernised the design. This also served to improve its merchandising capability, providing a stamp-like icon that could be printed on collateral such as lanyard, tote bags, and notepads. In addition to this, we refocused the emphasis of their brand away from their monochrome palette by incorporating more photography of the people within the organisation, humanising the brand. This introduced more vibrance to their image while also showcasing a more engaging brand identity.
For their website, we carried out a visual overhaul that was respectful of what they had already created. We designed and built a prototype intended to act as a template for the ECPR's internal development team, displaying how the website should look, feel and function. This also provided them with the tools they need to maintain continuity across their wider online presence. We extended this support out to the standing groups affiliated with the ECPR, equipping them with a template and the tools needed to adapt their own sites. This ensured consistency across the ECPR portfolio.
With the arrival of 2020 came the launch of the ECPR's brand refresh. The combination of new messaging and imagery, along with their refined online presence, provided a central point for their 50th birthday celebrations. The new look, additional collateral, and strategy we delivered for the ECPR focused on letting their audience feel the change, instead of telling them. This brand update has allowed the ECPR to continue their growth into the next half-century.
We were immediately impressed by Mackman's understanding of the unique needs and challenges of our organisation and the collaborative way in which they approached and delivered the project. We were delighted with both the final products and the support provided for the subsequent implementation of all elements across multiple stakeholders and channels.ECPR