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.

Brand development

  • Liverpool University Hospitals
  • Health
  • Campaigns, Design, Strategy and planning

We worked with one of the largest acute trusts in the country, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to develop a new brand to enable it to bring its vision, values and future ambition to life.

With multiple sites, a range of legacy brands and an emerging new strategic direction this was a wonderful challenge to develop a robust brand for a significant new organisation.

Our future together

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) was formed through a merger of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust.

As a new organisation, it became one of the largest acute trusts in the country and one of the biggest employers in the region with an annual budget of £930 million. Unlike many other NHS mergers, the merger was driven by the clinical staff, who made the case for bringing the two organisations together in order to improve patient care. 

We were commissioned by LUHFT to establish a clear brand framework for how it communicates its vision, values and strategic objectives in a way that is meaningful to all stakeholders.

Using an evidence-based approach we initially carried out a wide range of engagement with LUHFTs diverse stakeholders from patients, staff and senior management through to partners, regulators and Board members. This was used as a foundation that informed a written brand narrative, positioning and tone of voice that:

  • Communicates what LUHFT stands for
  • Reflects its vision and values
  • Is distinctive, yet authentic
  • Provides a mechanism to engage staff and instil a sense of pride so that they become brand ambassadors
  • Becomes something that the local community can believe in, be proud of and engage with.

With the written brand story in place we then moved on to consider the visual expression of the brand; developing a unique look and feel, brand architecture and a comprehensive set of brand guidelines to inform how the brand should be brought to life across the organisation’s many touchpoints.

Following a period of robust testing of all aspects of the new brand amongst key stakeholder groups, it was approved for roll-out and we worked with LUFHT to deliver a range of priority communications initiatives including the roll-out of the new organisational values and strategic reports; alongside collateral to embed the new brand across video, screensavers, email, posters, infographics and more. 

Why it matters

LUHFT is an anchor institution for the Liverpool City Region. It has a huge role to play in the future health and prosperity of our region, so it was vital to deliver a brand that connected with the region and the future ambition of the organisation to facilitate its growing impact.

This was a fantastic project to work on with a flagship organisation in our region. The close collaboration with multiple stakeholders throughout from initial research through to testing and implementation allowed us to develop a brand that was authentic to LUHFT and its future.

Building a brand

  • Bethell
  • Infrastructure
  • Design, Strategy and planning

We worked with Bethell to develop a new brand identity to support its ambitious growth plans in the construction and utilities sectors.

Key to this brief was the need to deliver a solution that was practical as well as creatively engaging through fully understanding how the brand would be implemented by the client across its many sites and operations.

A brand for expansion

Bethell Group is one of the UK’s leading privately-owned integrated construction and utility services companies. We were commissioned to review and develop a new brand identity for the organisation as it embarked on an ambitious expansion plan.

A collaborative creative development process, involving workshops with Bethell’s senior leadership, enabled us to identify the core requirements for a new brand that would support the future business.

We then developed a range of creative options for a new core mark and wider visual language that would not only represent the organisation effectively but critically work across a diverse range of touchpoints for an organisation that has employees across offices, in transit and on site across the country.

The final solution provides clarity on the new Bethell proposition, clearly defining its portfolio across two service areas (civils and utilities), with a visual language that provides flexibility for the utilities service to deliver targeted communications to its specific market.

Why it matters

Bethell are moving into an ambitious period of growth and recognised that a clear and strong brand identity was crucial to their aspirations as the organisation expands into new areas – providing a strong foundation to engage new clients and attract new employees.

Organisations like Bethell are critical to the flow of our society, putting in place the roads, networks and infrastructure that we need to live, work and play.

My Riverside

  • Riverside
  • Housing
  • Campaigns, Design, Strategy and planning, Video and animation

We worked with Riverside to develop a campaign to lead the roll-out of its refreshed customer portal, My Riverside.

Key to the brief was a need to deliver a concept that cut through wider customer communications

Making life easier

Riverside have redeveloped their customer portal, My Riverside, and commissioned Kaleidoscope to develop a new campaign to spearhead the launch and drive customer engagement with it.

My Riverside is a digital platform that enables Riverside customers the ability to easily manage their home through reporting repairs, checking accounts and making payments online.

Our initial role was to establish a distinctive creative concept that would set My Riverside apart from wider Riverside communications.

The platform had already been launched previously but did not achieve the required engagement, so this concept had to stand out and demonstrate that the platform was something to take notice of.

The concept used customer insight which highlighted the primary perceived benefit of the platform to be speed and ease of use.

We therefore built on this and brought it to life using a blend of copy lines and abstract photography, alongside a bright and vibrant colour palette, to articulate how My Riverside was quick and easy to use, and that customers could use the time they saved to do things they really wanted to do.

This was supported by a consistent logo device which reinforced the convenience of the platform and how it could be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device.

The campaign was launched in a targeted way across Riverside’s customers using multiple print and digital channels, with different content being delivered to a range of customers segments to reflect the differing levels of service’s available in regions and variations in customer engagement with digital tools.

Why it matters

Managing a home can be complex and time consuming, and for many of us can seem overwhelming at times. The My Riverside platform aims to help make this simpler and easier and enable its customers to get on with the things that are really important to them.

Using customer insight to inform our creative direction was vital to the effectiveness of this concept – it provided absolute clarity on what was really important to Riverside’s customers.

Shaped around you

  • Alpha
  • Housing
  • Design, Strategy and planning

We worked with Alpha to establish a fresh, new identity that would support its future strategic direction and ambitions.

Alpha is a long-standing housing association that has dedicated its life to housing and providing sensitive services for older people.

Shaping a vibrant future

Alpha is a long-standing housing association that has dedicated its life to housing and providing sensitive services for older people. It has more than 860 apartments in 11 local authorities across the North of England.

Against a backdrop of over 50 years of heritage, the organisation wanted to establish a fresh, new identity that would support its future strategic direction and ambitions. We were commissioned to work with Alpha and develop the identity, working closely with the senior management team, employees and residents from the outset.

Through an initial process of creative development, we explored a number of different themes for the identity to embrace, ranging from growth and vitality, through to care and happiness. This allowed us to identify the zones that truly aligned with the future direction of the business and start to consider how they could be brought to life across a core mark, positioning line and visual language.

A number of collaborative working sessions with the various Alpha stakeholders were then used to gauge feedback on the emerging creative proposals and identify key refinements that would ensure the identity resonated with residents and employees alike.

The final solution is built on the brand platform ‘shaped around you’, which reflects how Alpha provides its residents the opportunity to tailor their home, social and community life to their own preferences and live in an independent way. This is supported by a visual device that is comprised of triangles, which form the letter ‘A’ and use a range of vibrant colours, indicative of the diversity of opportunities on offer and the positive outlook that Alpha provides.

Why it matters

Alpha plays a crucial role in the lives of many communities across the North of the country through providing high quality housing and services to older people which provide a platform for their residents to live happy and independent lives.

Close collaboration with Alpha’s senior team and resident representatives gave us the perfect blend of strategic and customer insight to develop an identity that supports the organisation’s future ambition.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) is the combined authority of the Liverpool City Region. 

Why LCRCA matters to us?

LCRCA works together to make investments in areas that have a real impact on our communities across issues such as transport, digital, energy and environment, skills and culture much more.

Find out what matters to them here

What we’ve done with LCRCA

  • Transport campaigns
  • Tourist attraction campaigns
  • Education and skills websites and campaigns

There’s some confusion over the terms ‘creative strategy’ and ‘brand strategy’, and we’ve heard many people raise questions about what they are and whether they’re simply synonyms for each other. Spoiler, they’re not synonyms.

What’s a creative strategy?

Firstly, let’s clear something up. There’s a difference between a creative strategy and a brand strategy. The terms ‘creative’ and ‘brand’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be because they serve different purposes.

A creative strategy is how your brand expresses itself — it’s about how you tell your story. Whereas the brand strategy is about the bigger picture stuff. When building a brand strategy, you ask yourself where in the market your brand sits — aligning it with your business goals. The creative strategy helps you bring your brand to life by helping you understand who your audience is, what they’re looking for, how you can deliver it to them — all while supporting your business goals.

Although they serve different purposes, the two go hand in hand. You need a clear idea of where your brand is headed (brand strategy) then you need to figure out how you’re going to get there (creative strategy).

Why you need a creative strategy

A creative strategy helps your brand achieve strategic business growth. Without it, you have no direction, and your marketing efforts just float out into the ether. A creative strategy can give you the structure required to achieve the goals and KPIs set out in your brand strategy. Without a creative strategy, it’ll be difficult for you to measure return on investment (ROI) because you have nothing to measure your progress against and no clear idea where you’re heading.

When building your creative strategy, you’ll learn all about your target audience, the actions you want them to take, and, ultimately, the tactics you’re going to implement to make sure the actions are completed, helping you get closer to reaching your business goals.

Pinpointing the separate elements that make up a creative strategy can be tricky; for many organisations, the task seems unimportant; they’d rather just jump straight into marketing their product or service. But taking the time to build a creative strategy is time well-spent. If you don’t create one, you risk wasting time, resources, and budget because you don’t have a clear idea of your value proposition, you don’t have consistent branding assets or a tone of voice, and you’re not 100% sure that you’re targeting the best audience.

If you’re struggling to build your creative strategy, we can help you. We love coming up with new creative strategies for all our clients; it’s what we’re good at.

Many of us use interactive tools and web apps on a daily basis – whether it be webmail, online calculators or e-commerce retailers. Accessed via an internet browser, rather than a downloaded application, web apps are flexible digital tools and accessible across multiple devices.

In recent months we have worked on a number of web apps for our clients that have enabled them to harness the tech and connect with their audiences in a range of ways. This includes a tool to aid the sales pipeline for a business consultancy, through which users are able to ‘diagnose’ their business challenge and therefore provide valuable insight on customer needs to the consultancy . An interactive set of questions are completed by the user in collaboration with the consultancy to drive engagement, with a personalised report automatically generated for every user that highlights the areas that they need support.

We’ve also worked on a tool to stimulate conversations around blood pressure between health professionals and the public. Based on a series of on-screen questions and utilised within face-to-face sessions with professionals, the tool encourages people to reflect on their lifestyle before they are presented with a personalised dashboard of their current ‘heart health’. High-level guidance is provided on practical steps that individuals can take to improve their health, while health professionals are able to use the dashboard to prompt further discussions about wider changes that could be made and services available locally.

If you would like to talk to us about creating a web app for you, then please get in touch!

Happy Hearts – a tool to encourage conversations around blood pressure
Diagnostics – a tool to diagnose business challenges amongst prospective clients

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.

RealWorth is a consultancy that works in the UK, North America and mainland Europe. It represents a unique blend of skills combining academic and commercial expertise to help it’s clients to create better and more sustainable outcomes for their organisations and wider society.

Why Real Worth matters to us?

The ultimate aim of RealWorth is to help to create a future where everyone’s quality of life is improved because social and environmental impacts are valued in every policy, investment and development decision. We believe this type of thinking can only lead our society to become a more positive and sustainable place.

Find out what matters to them here

What we worked on with RealWorth

  • Brand identity development
  • Brand narrative and positioning
  • Corporate publications
  • Website