Many young people don’t know what they want to do with their lives when it comes to finding a suitable career path. So, if that’s how you feel, too, you aren’t alone. 

With youth unemployment figures rising to almost one million in the UK, having dropped by a massive 107,000 since the impact of covid alone, assisting our young people into sustainable employment that suits them and their skillset needs to be a priority we all share. Lack of entry-level positions, rise in retirement age, lack of experience, and generalised perceptions of young people are just a few barriers standing in their way.

Young people crave not only a wage but also positive early interventions from employers, providing opportunities to build their self-confidence to stave off emotional problems that may stunt their lifelong earning/career potential. 

At Kaleidoscope, we believe that we must help young people wherever we can. Whether through advice and guidance, work experience or developing communications campaigns and tools, we want to help develop their skills and self-confidence.

Finding what motivates you 

It’s easy to get stuck on the career conveyor belt, jumping from job to job with no real direction. Most people tend to stay in the industry they first fell into at a young age, which is alarming considering 85% of the global workforce are unhappy in their jobs.

With this in mind, it’s crucial to get in tune with what motivates you. You spend, on average, 35% of your waking life at work. So discovering what genuinely motivates you will make you feel better about giving a third of your life to your job. 

Finding your motivation can be hard, especially at a young age, but there is no greater strength than understanding yourself; this will influence your career choice, CV, interview confidence, and ultimately your future happiness. 

Not sure what motivates you? Sometimes it can be good to talk to those who know you best, to hear what they believe your greatest strengths and skill set could be. You could also check out the fantastic resources available on the Windmills Foundation website.

Useful resources

Here’s a list of some great free resources that may help you brush up on your CV, hone your interview skills and find work experience/apprenticeship.

CV support

Having a strong CV is the first step towards landing the job you want, so it’s important that it speaks to the employer and shows why you’d be a perfect fit. Check out the support available on the National Careers Service website. They also have a freephone line where you can speak to a specialist advisor.

Interview skills 

Offering a freephone telephone number and live chat options with an expert, the Prince’s Trust has some good tips on the do’s and don’ts when sitting the dreaded job interview. Check out their website for plenty more advice and guidance around employment. 

Work experience

Volunteering, internships, work shadowing, and part-time work are all great ways to enhance your skillset and try out various career paths before prioritising one. Many companies also offer paid work experience. Check out Prospects for a wide range of work experience options locally and across the UK.

Apprenticeship scheme/search engine

Check out ‘Be More’, part of the Combined Authority’s apprenticeship and careers portal for Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. With almost 500 apprenticeship vacancies currently available, it might be worth investing a little time scrolling through to see if anything stands out.

How we help

At Kaleidoscope, we believe, as an agency, that supporting our young people is increasingly important, and we like to do our part when providing opportunities to young people in our region. 

We’ve enjoyed working with the University of Liverpool Career Studio project, which aims to assist young people in finding exciting employment opportunities. It’s a flexible student-led space where students can talk with an experienced peer-to-peer coach to discuss their career aspirations.

We also enjoy working with Agent Academy, delivering a session each year where we provide an insight into the comms agency life. Their next programme launches on 14th June 2022.

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed working with many young people keen to learn more about agency life. We’ve offered them work experience and helped them figure out whether or not our industry is for them. We might even come out of it with a new hire. If not, no worries; we’re happy to hopefully give them a little more direction than they had before. We’ll always try and point anyone in the right direction whenever possible.

If you’re interested in seeing agency life in the flesh, don’t hesitate to drop us a message, we’ll work out something.

        

At Kaleidoscope, we’re all about open, honest and clear communication. So what better way to show you how we operate than through interviews with team members? You want to know who’s working on your campaigns, and we figured this would be a pretty easy way to show you.

Graciously, Andy Malone, our Digital Director, has put himself forward for the first interview! Learn more about Andy and what matters to him below. 

So, how long have you been at Kaleidoscope? 

I joined the team as Digital Director five years ago. I was brought in to build the digital offering up — starting from scratch; we’ve built up to a team of four now.

I’ll rewind a bit to give you an idea of how I ended up here. During my Computer Science degree, I worked as a freelance web developer. After graduating, I had a pretty strong portfolio, so I decided to lean into it while I considered what my career was going to be, but I never looked back. I started solo as a freelancer, then took on some longer-term contracts, and spent some time as part of in-house teams until settling into full-time agency life, moving from mid-weight developer up to a Head of Digital role in my last agency. It was here I met our current MD, James, and we shared a common love of working on innovative projects that deliver good. 

So a few years later, when the opportunity arose to help James and the Kaleidoscope team kick off their digital offering, I couldn’t wait to get started. 

Tell us a bit about your job in a nutshell…

As Digital Director, my primary role is to run Kaleidoscope’s digital services and the team that delivers them. I also act as the senior project director for websites, apps, email and social campaigns — basically, anything online or on devices is my territory.

Bethany, our digital project manager, oversees projects day-to-day (and is much better at it than me), but when it comes to strategy, planning and scoping out tech solutions, that’s where I thrive. I also love that for some projects I can still get stuck in and dust off my coding skills!

When it comes to the digital side of the business, what matters most to you?

As a business, our proposition is “communications that matter”, which means working on projects that matter to the wider community and us. So it’s vital that our digital offering reflects that proposition, too. 

With that in mind, for me, inclusion and accessibility are two things that matter massively to me. That means building websites, apps and tools that are easy for everyone to use, regardless of their level of understanding or background — from considered UI/UX to mobile performance, keyboard navigation to adhering to accessibility best practices. It all matters when building effective digital communications.

My favourite thing about this job is that you can go beyond just communicating well with digital transformation. Although it’s essential to build traditional campaigns with bus adverts and posters, digital adds another layer of opportunity to campaigns. It gives people something to interact with and can help change people’s lives more directly. 

The Happy Hearts interactive tool

What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on at Kaleidoscope?

A few projects spring to mind here, all for very different reasons. My first is Dyslexia Scotland, partly because I’m working on it at the moment. Their website is their hub for content, resources and membership and needed to be refreshed. As part of that, we are really focusing on optimising the design for the primary audience, which means pushing our design capabilities in terms of accessibility and testing it rigorously with the end-user group we are collaborating with.

Another project which I’m very proud to have worked on is the Happy Hearts Blood Pressure Tool. This tool was part of a wider blood pressure campaign for the region and allows people to have meaningful conversations with a healthcare provider, using an engaging and simple interface to give them a personalised experience. The tool helps drive meaningful conversations that could change their lives. 

Another smaller project that I really enjoyed working on was with the University of Liverpool Career Studio, which was exciting because it meant getting into some pretty new tech and was a fusion of both print and online. We produced marketing materials and brochures for the studio, but alongside this, we also did all the environmental branding and, as part of that, created wall vinyls that included digital marker codes, which enabled users to view an augmented reality experience on their phones while in the space. The experience was fully content managed, so the team could maintain it, and also showed the user personalised career advice based on some simple options such as their preferred industry.

Connect with Andy via email or LinkedIn

Communication is no doubt at the heart of what we do here at Kaleidoscope, but driving real change through a mixture of traditional and digital communication is what fuels us to deliver exceptional campaigns. Learn more about our services.

I’ve been with Kaleidoscope for nearly seven years and MD for four of those, which might seem like a decent amount of time, but it’s just a drop in the ocean considering the company was founded in the 80s.

Since being founded, Kaleidoscope has always delivered communications and creative projects that focus on societal issues. We love working with clients across other industries, such as retail and finance, but we also enjoy learning how the world works around us, and working with clients who do good helps us do just that.

So far, we’ve been led by the energy within the business — we want our employees to be passionate about the work we deliver and the results we achieve for our clients.

But up until now, we’ve haven’t articulated this in a clear plan. 

We knew we liked delivering projects that have a good output and contribute to something good around us. And that’s why we’re launching our new proposition; officially, we’ve called it “communications that matter.”

We’re communicators delivering something that matters

Our client base reflects the fabric of the community. And we’re proud to work with the NHS and within the healthcare sector in general. As we’re all aware — now more than ever — health is vital to a thriving community.

We also work within the employment, education, housing and infrastructure sectors, helping clients deliver things that have a fundamental impact on our daily lives.

We’ve been growing into this space more and more, achieving definition as a creative agency.

We’re well aware the agency isn’t the hero; all we do is enable the true heroes to do their job that little bit better. At Kaleidoscope, we understand what matters to our clients; we’re here to help them in their individual roles — but we also consider the bigger picture — how can we help their brand in a commercial sense.

We’ve refocused our processes, we:


Our values and beliefs haven’t changed in three decades

Our values are something we have upheld for over 30 years as a company. And although we’ve shifted our creative focus and moved with the times, our bones have remained the same. We’ve got integrity, and we’re honest and transparent. But we’re also innovative, increasingly insightful and sharp.

We’ve come to realise that if staff members aren’t fully behind your company values, they’re not as excited to get involved, they don’t take their work personally, and the work delivery isn’t of superior quality. And it’s because of these reasons why we’ve reframed our proposition to outwardly project what matters to us as individuals.

Supporting our local community is important to all of us at Kaleidoscope and always has been. Over the years, we’ve made it our mission to support charities. We’re aware that throwing money at the situation isn’t always the best solution, so alongside financial donations, we’ve delivered (and continue to deliver) pro bono work for charities, sponsorship and volunteering for causes and community projects we truly believe in.

Later this year, we’re launching a formalised giving programme, so every one of our employees gets the chance to support a charity close to their hearts. 

We’re not a cool bunch of people; we’re just normal people with a realistic vision, working with a number of great of clients — trying to do good where we can.

James Kirk, Managing Director


When you think of a ‘brand’ and what it means to you, you might immediately think about logos, font, and brand colours — and all that stuff is important. But it’s not all a brand is; they’re just branding elements. 

A brand is a distinctive skin you’re giving your business that extends past aesthetics. It’s what customers will identify you with — whether it’s your tone of voice, your style, your colours, your messaging — you’re building an identity that customers will come to know and love. And a brand people can relate to increases custom, according to a Nielson survey [PDF], 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.

But branding isn’t just a one-off task, branding is a process that’s cyclical. It’s something that adapts and evolves with your business and its customers. 

So, what should you consider when you’re developing a brand?

1. Identify who you’re trying to reach

Sounds basic. And it is, but it’s so obvious that it’s overlooked, or some brands think that the persona research they’ve already got on file will cut the mustard. And it might not. 

The truth is, customer behaviour changes all the time — how they browse for your products and how they interact online changes. That’s why keeping your personas updated is key to a successful brand development project; what customers want today might not be the same as four or five months ago. 

And building that connection with your audience is crucial. According to Sprout Social, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them — but you can only do that if you know who your customers are, right?

2. Define where your brand sits in the marketplace

If you don’t know how you stack up to competitors, you’re not going to have the opportunity to create a different brand. There are plenty of tools out there to help you understand the market you’re competing in. You might already have a fair idea of what the competition looks like, but analysing the competition can help you reframe your own understanding of your product and where it sits in the marketplace.

Tools like SEMrush can help you determine the niche market players, the market leaders, and the biggest competitors you’ve got. You need to know what’s currently out there and how your service or product stacks up to theirs. Is there a gap in the market? If there is, SEMrush or tools like it will help you find it (or Kaleidoscope, ideally. But hey, some people are on tight budgets!).

3. Think about your messaging strategy

Your brand messaging is what ties all your branding elements neatly together. It’s what will resonate with your customers — it’s what you want them to remember about your brand. Without clear brand messaging, you’re not effectively communicating why people should care about you and showcasing the value you offer them.

So, where do you start when creating your brand messaging? It’s helpful to lay out some guidelines so the messaging is structured and well-rounded. Your brand messaging framework would usually include:

Need a bit of guidance? Call us to see how we can help: 0151 707 2220.

Before you go, here’s a branding mistake we see again and again

Bringing too much personal emotion into the branding process is a mistake. You need to be objective, not subjective, when it comes to branding. We need to connect with your intended audience, and we can’t do that if your personal likes and dislikes creep on in there. 

Stay focused. Your audience should take priority; they’re the ones you want to familiarise your new brand with. Let’s build that intimate emotional connection.