Welcome to our latest blog. This month, Kirstie Taylor, Graphic Designer, talks about the evolvement of the Kindertons brand and the power of having an in-house, streamlined Marketing team

02 February 2023

Our Marketing Team are responsible for all our branding, literature, website, social media, tender documents, awards submissions, charity activities and events that you will have seen. They are responsible for how the brand is showcased and represented both internally and externally.


Laying the Foundations of our Brand

I joined Kindertons almost 10 years ago, fresh out of university. From a young age, I always wanted to be a designer, and knew that the role would be a great step into the business world as well as give me the chance to further my learning and be part of a real design team. My role when I first started, was Junior Graphic Designer and I worked alongside the then Senior Designer on the Creative Team.

The company has evolved so much since my early days - from the family run business it was, to a successful company now owned by the global entity ExamWorks.

Proactive Marketing had never really been possible in the past, as the company grew and diversified so rapidly through contacts and connections. In 2013, there was no Marketing team in place, and the original branding had been in use since the first Designer joined the company several years before. It wasn’t until 2016 – and we started seeking interest from big global funders - that we decided we needed a complete brand refresh to mirror the more professional company we had become. We needed to put ourselves out there, showcase ourselves as a company and tell people how we stood out amongst our competitors, hence we appointed our first in-house Marketing professional. Working with our Sales Director, they developed a key Marketing Strategy and gave the brand a big re-fresh.

We’d had the same logo since the company first started out, but decided it needed a more modern feel –so we made it bolder, with softer edges and curvier ‘swooshes’. We also broadened the colour pallet and introduced several different shades to compliment our existing colours – building on the original ‘Kindertons blue’ and grey. We also created a portfolio of new imagery to sit alongside our revamped branding, using images that had more of a relaxed, natural feel and never with any negative associations. Alongside refreshing our own brand identity, we implemented a ‘group logo’, and refreshed the branding of our other group companies so that they all followed a similar style.


Developing our values

Soon after all this was in place, we were bought by American company Examworks, who had already acquired several other business groups in the UK. Collaboratively we developed our core values, which run across the wider group. This was the final part in the establishment of our brand as it is now, and these ‘FIRST’ values are the catalyst behind everything that we do today.

FOCUS – Our business is all about people and our customers are essential to our success. We will focus on delivering total customer satisfaction by understanding what our customers want and deliver it flawlessly.

INNOVATION – We are committed to innovation. We will continue to improve our skills, services and technologies and be creative so that, together, we are the best we can be.

RESPECT – We care about the people around us. We will show respect for colleagues, customers and partners; for the environment within which we operate and the local communities from which we all come.

STANDARDS – We set our standards consistently high. We care the service we provide and will strive for continuous quality improvement in all that we do; getting things right first time.

TEAM SPIRIT – Our team spirit plays a vital role in our success. We will show consideration for others’ needs and an awareness of the impact of our actions. 


The perfect blend

As the company has got a lot bigger and many of our workers are now either hybrid or fully remote, it’s more important than ever that we maintain our brand integrity.

In some ways people have become more self-sufficient, creating their own visuals for internal incentives. I used to spend a lot of time designing them for all areas of the business but then when covid hit and we weren’t in the office, people found other ways to go about it – which is great if they’re just updating something and working within the brand guidelines, but not so great if it’s something bigger and it goes out externally!

It's a balancing act. I try to encourage everyone to involve the Marketing team in the creation of new documents and where the logo is used, but equally people don’t want handholding and sometimes things slip through the cracks! But as soon as I spot anything with the old logo on or that’s not branded correctly, I will try and rectify it straight away. It’s important that everything external, that any customer sees, is branded the same. And that’s the beauty of us being in-house. It makes things so much easier because you’re so familiar with the brand and just know what works. You’re more closely connected to the company and only have their sole interest at heart. Aside from that we can do quick changes almost immediately – which is far more cost effective! You just couldn’t replicate that with an external agency.  

In the last few years my role has changed from being a Junior Designer  to sole Designer in the Marketing Team. I think what works, is that we’re very approachable as a team – and glad to say that over the past few years, attitudes seem to have shifted from people thinking that we’re just here to make things look pretty – to actually realising that we play an important role within the company. We also try and engage with staff as much as possible – last year we introduced an internal newsletter. We also run regular internal promotions, competitions and wellbeing activities to encourage a good rapport and a sense of ‘together-as-one’ across the company. We’re always happy for anyone internally to contact us for ideas or help with anything. We love trying out new ways of getting our brand out there and collaborating with different departments on different activities and campaigns. 

It’s great being part of such a dynamic team - the communication is very easy, and we are constantly bouncing ideas off each other. We all have our individual strengths so it’s easy to know who should take ownership of what, but we aren’t afraid to try out new things… it’s the perfect blend!