Bringing accessibility and inclusivity to business education

Roadmap MBA was at a crossroads on its own journey. It needed a brand built around a powerful purpose that could scale and set the foundations for future growth.

29th November 2021

29th November 2021

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Estimated Reading Time 7 Minutes

James Bolton

James Bolton

James Bolton

Written by James Bolton,
Creative Copywriter

Alongside creative storytelling across a variety of channels and audiences, James helps define our client propositions by creating unique brand stories and verbal guidelines that get to the heart of their purpose and mission.

For many, business education is seen as exclusive, expensive and lacking in real-world relevance. But what if there was a course that was affordable, rooted in actual business experience and even transcended borders and cultures?

Roadmap MBA is just that. The CPD certified programme is purpose built for small to medium businesses and the people behind them. Just as its name suggests, it provides a tangible, immersive and all-encompassing journey that provides everything you need to grow your business or your career. It’s built on a blend of strong practical and academic foundations. One that balances logic and creativity to deliver an insightful, unique and personal business education.

But Roadmap MBA was at a crossroads on its own journey. It needed a brand that would help it scale and set the foundations for future growth. We worked with founder, Steve Pugh, to develop a unique proposition, informed by a real and impactful ‘WHY’ and a refreshed identity that would set the programme apart as well as empower its learners.

Making business education accessible

While the practical aim of Roadmap MBA is to provide the skills and confidence needed to grow and succeed, their purpose goes one step further. ‘Making business education accessible’ is a socially driven ‘WHY’ that offers a strong and meaningful banner to rally behind.

At its heart, this purpose is all about removing barriers and overcoming tired business education stereotypes, with Roadmap MBA delivering an alternative to traditional, stale and sedated learning. It’s a programme that’s relevant, affordable and above all inclusive. No matter your location, background, race or gender, Roadmap MBA will help learners grow.

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Every aspect of their brand is built around this powerful purpose. It’s a message that can be shouted loud and proud, and it’s a mission that resonates with their community who can carry the baton, make their own journey and create their own story. It’s also intrinsically linked to their founder’s values — something that’s vital given his visibility and role in delivery.

Roadmap MBA founder, Steve Pugh, said: “Traditionally, business education has been exclusive. Knowledge was held behind expensive pay-walls or admissions boards who decide who gets in. The barriers to entry have been holding people back or stopping people from reaching their full potential.

“Our mission is to make business education accessible to anyone who has the desire to learn or progress in their business or career.”

Defining Roadmap MBA’s unique archetype blend was the next challenge. With such a socially-driven purpose, the archetype naturally aligned itself to a people-first, change-making personality. The suitably named ‘Empowering Activist’ was the result, with a deep-rooted desire to shift societal and industry norms. This cause-led champion finds gratification in supporting others, which is also backed up by a wise, objective nature born from experience and rich curiosity.

It perfectly sums up the programme’s DNA, even going beyond course content to tap into its inclusivity, accessibility and genuine life-changing potential.

A brand with balance

With the verbal elements unearthed and fleshed out, focus turned to the visual aspects of the new brand. This was a blank canvas to take Roadmap MBA to the next level for years to come. The full build needed to include a logo, typography, colour palette, design system and wider brand world with accompanying guidelines.

A key consideration was a need to balance corporate authority with a modern, enthusiastic and welcoming personality. Early on, a clean design was identified as an opportunity to elevate the brand and add sophistication while pops of colour could add vibrancy and energy. Fundamentally, clarity, practicality and usability were the boxes to tick; all of which are the hallmarks of good design.

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Find your path

The result was a brand rooted in the Roadmap name itself, and which acts as a visual metaphor for both its purpose and step by step process. Gradients and light pathways combine to create a brand device that shines through every asset and deliverable. It’s a nod to what makes the course so enriching and unique, and the perfect visual translation of guidance and a practical nature. The device illuminates the journeys of each and every learner, with the wrap around beam highlighting that no two stories or businesses are the same.

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The logo follows the same path, keeping its structure but reforming to create an ‘R’. As well as providing a recognisable element, this subtle variation retains the beam element while aligning the logo and wider brand world together.

As with many online-based programmes or services, finding an image style that felt professional, practical and above all personal was a key challenge. Together with the light pathways, the photography introduced feels fresh, human and inspiring. Importantly, it taps into the stories and personalities behind each journeys; even going as far to provide a sense of inspiration and achievement. A diverse alumni also adds confidence in the inclusivity of the course.

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Strong foundations for strong principles

Creative Director, John Taylor, said: “We love building all types of brands, but those that are making a difference or shaking up an industry often mean even more.

“Illustrating that guiding nature with a sense of activism was a really exciting challenge, and one that resonates across languages and cultures. We’ve talked at length about the power of purpose and how causes can change the world.

"Owning a proposition as impactful as Roadmap MBA’s makes their brand all that more informed, all that more authentic and ultimately more future-focussed. We think it perfectly positions them for growth.”

Roadmap MBA founder, Steve Pugh, added: "I knew that if I wanted to create a globally recognised business course, it was essential to have a world class brand.

"I had known for many years that if I was ever in the fortunate position to invest, it was always going to be with Better. Their past experience of creating exceptional brands was exactly what I was looking for and the team nailed it at the first attempt. The new brand will help me reach my target for the business and is an essential building block in its future success."

Armed with a refreshed identity and powerful proposition, Roadmap MBA is well placed for the challenges and opportunities of the modern world. A world where accessibility and inclusivity thrives. Where online delivery is second nature and where purpose truly matters.

It’s the perfect example of aesthetics and practicality working in harmony to grow people, careers and businesses, as well as a brand itself.

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