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AT THE BEGINNING

The longest-standing music development agency in the UK, Generator has nurtured talent in various forms since 1991 from its base in the North East of England.

Times have changed in recent years however as Generator acquired Digital Union in 2015 which focused on the region’s renowned creative and digital sector, as well as continuing to offer support to music artists via Tipping Point and business growth support through its Digital Futures Programme.

Unsurprisingly, over almost three decades, divisions and sub-divisions, brands and sub-brands, have all emerged but without cohesion. At this point in Generator’s story, Horizon Works was asked to come on board, find the insights and opportunities, and remove the confusion from their brand and proposition.

OUR VISION

For the public and their internal team, Generator’s mix of messages was a problem. All their amazing work was getting lost behind a disjointed visual and verbal architecture. They couldn’t explain, in simple terms, who they were and what they stood for as an organisation in a short and succinct way.

To give Generator a more focused approach, to grow locally and nationally, and to maximise on other opportunities, we helped the team better think about and communicate their skills and services in the music, creative, digital and technological fields.

We knew with our thorough methods and diverse marketing talents amongst the team, we could deliver a strategy that would be clear and create a more defined proposition people would engage and resonate with. Structure, messaging, branding, guidelines and tactics, would all be addressed in our audit and strategy to drive future change for Generator.

“The whole exercise and strategy has underpinned our offering and gives clarity to such a wide range of people; from clients, to people who use our services, to people who want to buy our services, to stakeholders, to public sector.”

Jim Mawdsley, CEO

OUR APPROACH

We took Generator on our journey. Discovering how people perceived the current brand and organisation was key. We looked at Generator, Tipping Point, and Digital Union as combined and separate entities – to unravel what they stood for and what they meant to their varying audiences.

Our communications audit required us to interview as many people as we could; from current clients of Generator and Tipping Point, lapsed members of Digital Union, prospective members of Digital Union, board members of Generator, as well as key members of the Generator team.

Moving through each of the divisions as we progressed our comms audit, we asked people ‘where they saw Generator’, ‘what was working’ and ‘what wasn’t’. This was done on a marketing level and beyond as we analysed as much information as we could before creating our strategy and guidelines.

THE WORK

After taking on board our advice and recommendations from the strategy, we worked with Generator to refresh its branding – as well as the sub-brands for Digital Union and Tipping Point – and support them in providing the right tools for their brand to be implemented across all their marketing channels.

Digital Union and Tipping Point remain separate brands but the relationship with Generator is now clear with the bridging line ‘Powered by Generator…’ used in any introductory text, and under the logo.

Consistency has been introduced and there is a distinct message and style to introduce and explain each proposition they offer. By following our strategy, Generator has emerged with a clear identity that’s positioned them as the leaders of industry they are – one of the UK’s leading business support agencies for the creative digital and music sectors.

THE RESULTS AND BEYOND

We provided a structured marketing strategy with a clear brand platform which has allowed the Generator team to work in a new integrated, consistent and coherent way. As Jim said at the brand’s launch event in Newcastle City Centre: “Generator has become so easy to explain, the feedback’s spot on. It’s clear. We get it and our audience does too!”

The work we undertook also led to Generator realising the need for a brand guardian and in-house marketer to implement our recommendations and ensure consistency going forward. We took a very hands-on approach to this to solidify our partnership with Generator and helped not only advertise for the right person but right down to the interview stage – and then appointment.

We took Generator on our journey and did things the Horizon Works way which has led to clarity and success.

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