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Enabling brand evolution:

Software Cornwall's transition to Tech Cornwall

Software Cornwall logo.

When a decade of serving the Cornish tech community calls for a brand identity refresh, Software Cornwall turned to us for some Agile awesomeness.  
Our longstanding relationship with the inspiring team at Software Cornwall made us the perfect fit for this exhilarating rebranding endeavour. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this journey! 

Tech Cornwall (previously Software Cornwall) is a non-profit organisation that connects, promotes, and supports the digital tech community in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. They provide a platform for networking and collaboration, as well as professional development opportunities for individuals and businesses within the local tech community.  

As they celebrated their 10th birthday, they decided that the name Software Cornwall just didn’t feel right anymore. They were ready to evolve into a new identity that better reflects who they are now. 

The challenge - time to revisit and refresh their identity

No one could describe the Software Cornwall team as being faint of heart.  
When we met them to discuss this branding project, they were already busy planning Cornwall’s Festival of Tech ,a two-week celebration of all things tech, digital, and software in the county  

The Software Cornwall team felt that their name and current brand identity weren’t reflecting who they are now and what they do, so they felt this was the right time for a rebrand! 

Arguably, the jewel in the crown of the Festival of Tech was The BIG Cornish Showcase, and the team were planning a private party in the evening to celebrate Software Cornwall turning 10 years old! Huzzah!  

They wanted to use this high-profile party to reveal their new brand identity with style! 

The Software Cornwall team had already decided on a new name that they felt fits them better – Tech Cornwall. But they needed help defining and developing the rest of their new identity.  

Action – creating an informed and impressive rebrand

After the Christmas break, we came back to work fresh faced and filled with enthusiasm – which only increased when we received the exciting news that we’d won this dreamy project.  

Full disclosure, six weeks for a full rebrand is a challenging timeline, but you know Team Agile. We’re great at mischief managed and performing under pressure when needed.  

Software Cornwall exists to serve its members, so we knew how important community engagement was going to be as part of this branding project. That’s why we arranged a series of branding workshops to get a better understanding of what the brand means to the team and wider members. And of course, as it was an Agile workshop we came armed with Post-its.  

We started each workshop with a retrospective – the 4 L’s. 

We explored what people like about the current brand and messaging, what they’ve learned from it, what they loathed, and what they loved.  
It helps to know where we’re coming from when deciding where we want to go.

Diagram of the 4 L's retrospective.

Next, we did a personality slider, which is a brand strategy exercise that helps set the tone for brand communication. It can act as a decision-making tool when developing voice and tone as well as look and feel. This activity always sparks really interesting conversations – which we love! Helping us explore and discuss together so we end up in the right place.  

Then, we dived event deeper into what is truly important to the organisation.  

We wanted to know what their mission is, what they stand for, and how they’d describe their culture. It’s important to know what values the new branding and messaging needs to communicate. And this is the perfect opportunity for our clients to ensure they’re still all aligned on these, as they can evolve as companies grow and mature.  
 
We felt it was crucial to ask these questions to the wider community as well as the team but there are a lot of members, and unfortunately, we couldn’t fit everyone in the room.  

That’s why we also devised an online questionnaire to share with the Software Cornwall community via email, social media, slack, and personal invites. We wanted to make giving feedback as accessible as possible, and anonymous if needed. The community are so important to this not-for-profit organisation, and we wanted to make sure they had a voice.  

We compiled all the juicy feedback and created a slide deck to present the information to the Software Cornwall team, as it will be helpful and relevant for other activities. Focus group feedback is such a luxury to have during rebranding projects, and we’re always so thankful to have the opportunity to discuss ideas with the intended audience so early on in a project.  

When we have a rebranding project, we love to partner with our incredibly talented friends at Hutch, we knew they were the right people to help bring the new Tech Cornwall brand identity to life.  

They took all the delicious details we compiled during our workshops and feedback sessions and produced five gorgeous Style Scape options to the Tech Cornwall team.  We had these printed on large Foamex boards to make them even easier to devour!  

We met at our Truro office and reviewed the options over pastries and coffee. It’s worth noting this was also “Take Your Child to Work Day” at a local secondary school, so we had an extra helper for the day. This actually ended up being beneficial, as the team were keen to know what tweens thought of the new branding options – education is one of their core pillars after all! 

Take your child to work day with the Agile Communications Agency, Hutch, and Software Cornwall.

The team picked their favourite bits from the various Style Scapes and Hutch then reworked them into a final version, which was happily and eagerly signed off by the Software Cornwall team.  

But, as I’m sure you know, brand identities are about more than just looks. That’s why we also created six new detailed and descriptive audience personas for their team to use. Now, they’ll always know exactly who they’re speaking too, in every situation. Because if we speak to everyone, we end up speaking to no one.  

We also created a tone of voice guide, so the whole team know how to speak for the new Tech Cornwall brand, in an authentic yet uniform way. Consistency really is key, so having this documented means there is a shared understanding on how to speak as the brand, throughout the whole team. 

Result –real time feedback during a very public unveiling

After we:  

  • ran branding workshops  
  • sent out questionnaires  
  • developed Style Scape options  
  • finalised the new branding  
  • created target audience personas  
  • developed and documented a new tone of voice  
  • and shared brand guidelines  

It was time for the new branding to make its way out into the world! EEK! 

We worked hard to delivered logo files quickly in time for them to be dropped into an incredible video created by our friends at Halo PR.  

The first stage of the brand reveal happened at the Cornwall Festival of Tech and Big Cornish Tech Showcase, which brought over 3000+ people together to celebrate everything tech, digital and software. 
 
At the invite-only extra special celebration at the end of The BIG Cornish Showcase, the original founders and the current Tech Cornwall directors, Holly and Niki, gave some insightful and inspiring speeches about Software Cornwall’s journey over the past ten years and where it’s going in the future.  

While we enjoyed a glass of something sparkling and a perfect pasty, we were shown the exciting video.  

 

They then changed the LED laser light show that was being projected on the wall to showcase the new branding!  

It’s not every day you get to see your work projected on the side of an aircraft hangar at Spaceport Cornwall, but the Tech Cornwall team know how to do things with style! 

Followed by a luminous samba band to end the evening. We’re starting to think all of our client’s branding reveals should have such fanfare! 
 
Now, all that was left to do was to share it with the rest of the world digitally through an integrated PR and communications campaign handled beautifully by the Tech Cornwall team.  

 

Niki Davies Software Cornwall.

Agile we’re the right choice to work with on our rebrand, they really understood us, our community and what we’re trying to achieve.
Their team made the whole process fun and collaborative – their workshops really helped us clarify our identity and make sure everyone's voice was heard.
Working with Agile was fantastic, they handled the project with care and ensured it ran smoothly, even with tight deadlines. They felt like a part of our team, always ready to listen.We’d absolutely work with Agile again, in fact, we’ve just commissioned them to work on our new website. Their dedication and expertise gave us a brand identity that truly reflects who we are and where we’re headed.

Niki Davies, Director & Head of Marketing at Tech Cornwall

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