Start-up to established brand: Inspiring Interns’ evolution
We help graduates find brilliant internships that lead to jobs; you may already know this. If you’ve been to our office, you will know that you enter through a wardrobe. And if you’re a good friend of the business and/or came to one of our prestigious tournaments, you’ll have played table tennis in our boardroom.
You may have read some other important facts about us. Inspiring Interns was founded in January 2009 and since then we have created thousands of internships with hundreds of companies, of which 65% have become permanent jobs. In that time we’ve had three different identities and each one has represented a different stage of our journey.
The best companies never stand still – they grow and they evolve over time. In this blog we look at how the Inspiring Interns brand has developed from a fledgling start-up to an established business.
We began by using simple images for our website and communication materials – a new business does not need to spend a small fortune on elaborate designs to look professional. Our aim was to build a community around uncomplicated, colourful branding which mirrored our fledgling business structure and employees. As Inspiring Interns grew, however, the abundance of colours and simple typeface made it difficult to create a strong public image for the company and we struggled to produce consistent marketing materials.
A year or so after Inspiring Interns opened we added a creative graphic designer to our ranks and decided to alter our logo and website. We felt they no longer represented us – we wanted to retain our fun, distinctive feel but also demonstrate that we were changing the face of graduate recruitment. The result was a new, more stylised logo and a website with greater focus on the visitor journey. On the candidate-side this meant an increased emphasis on our selection of internships, while for clients we made the choice of video CVs more prominent. Nevertheless, the new site design retained a bright, energetic feel: We wanted graduates to feel excited about the opportunities on offer.
This site, the second incarnation of Inspiring Interns’ web presence, served us very well for two years and was even nominated for a couple of awards. Nevertheless we found that, as our organisation developed and we continued to make alterations and additions to the website, it began to feel cluttered and inconsistencies started to creep into our marketing materials again. We’re a trustworthy bunch, but branding irregularities builds a lack of trust and respect. So it was time for part three.
At the end of 2011 Inspiring Interns made the big move from our first office into a new, larger space designed specifically for our use. This helped underline the continuing development in Inspiring’s efficiency and professionalism, and called for a fresh re-evaluation of our visual identity. The result is the new logo and website you can see today. Once again we have retained a colourful element but our brand now shows a level of sophistication that was previously lacking. We now have two parts to our logo (‘Inspiring Interns’ and ‘II’) that are initially partnered as we aim to build brand recognition before they are split. The title typeface has curvy bold lines that represent dynamism and fun/movement and we don’t use a standard font for body text; we’re not run-of-the-mill suits but we are doing an important job. To retain brand familiarity with those previously familiar with our brand we have maintained aspects of our old logo; the bubbles and word arrangement. Our website is clean and has even greater focus on the customer journey. We’ve added some advice sections for graduates or students looking for an internship and we’ve created a guide to internships for small businesses, which is now free for employers to download.
We’re still Inspiring Interns; a fun, energetic organisation specialising in connecting ambitious graduates with growing businesses, only we’re taking things a little more seriously now.