Parents as Teachers is an international nonprofit aimed at helping caregivers better understand and connect with their child’s early development. With a global affiliate network and research-based curricula, Parents as Teachers is a recognized leader in early childhood development, but the brand had become stagnant over the years. Audiences weren’t understanding the big picture of what Parents as Teachers is all about, so UPBrand stepped in to help.
- Brand Strategy
- Campaign Development
- Employer Brand Identity
- Employer Brand Strategy
- Identity Creation
- Website Design
As always, we kicked off with our Discovery process. Parents as Teachers is an intricate organization with several stakeholders all interacting with the brand in different ways. Over countless surveys, interviews and focus groups, we collected deep insights into what makes the brand tick.
One of our biggest questions coming out of discovery was: What is Parents as Teachers? It certainly wasn’t one thing. It’s the national center in St. Louis, state offices nationwide, an ever-growing group of affiliate organizations and a series of proven curricula for caregivers. Organizing all these pieces into one cohesive brand architecture was our first priority.
We opted for a master brand system, where Parents as Teachers would serve as the overarching brand that would then endorse several sub-brands, such as location-based offices and curricula partners. This gives some much-needed order to the brand and helps audiences understand how one aspect
After all that talk about how the brand would work, it was time to figure out how it would sound. Parents as Teachers had a common challenge that comes with growth: With so many people involved with the brand, how do you make sure everyone speaks from the same playbook?
As part of our branding process, we got to the heart of what the Parents as Teachers brand stands for and what it has to offer its many audiences. We delivered a set of brand messaging, with a unique and ownable brand promise at its center, that clearly articulates the lasting impact of Parents as Teachers. These elements form the foundation for all the brand’s written communication, ultimately creating a consistent message across the brand’s international presence.
The Parents as Teachers logo, while iconic, felt outdated when compared to the brand’s forward-thinking ambitions. Others pointed out that it featured a standard two-parent family, which simply wasn’t reflective of many Parents as Teachers families.
Our design process was centered around illustrating themes of family, education, growth and childlike wonder. We landed on a more abstract design featuring a child and a caregiver in an embrace, implying a sense of togetherness and support as the child grows up. Paired with a palette of primary colors, the new identity began to take shape as something inspired by the bright potential of every child.
What’s a shiny new brand without a place to show it off? While the paint was drying on the new Parents as Teachers logo, we were hard at work building a new website. The existing website had become all things to all audiences, and simple tasks like finding your local affiliate had become challenging for users.
We started with a new site architecture that made better use of the organization’s affiliate portal and led to a more focused journey for the average site visitor. We also overhauled the site’s content with an eye for brevity and SEO best practices, so users could easily skim and find the information they’re looking for. The site design also leverages the new brand identity to create a warm, immersive experience.
With all this momentum behind Parents as Teachers, we needed to find a way to get it to the masses. We strategized a multi-channel campaign aimed at raising brand awareness and celebrating the organization’s work with families around the world. The creative was inspired by the idea of opening doors — that every interaction with Parents as Teachers leads to bigger possibilities and brighter futures for young children.
Our campaign also called for a first for Parents as Teachers: a national TV spot. We produced a 30-second piece that serves as an intimate, cinematic look at the journey of parenting and how Parents as Teachers can make it all the more rewarding.
It was our pleasure to be invited to the 2022 Parents as Teachers International Conference in Denver to help unveil the new brand to the entire organization. With the conference’s merch stores selling out within hours, it’s safe to say everyone wanted to get their hands on the new brand. We also led a series of workshops with regional and national leaders about how to use the new identity effectively. But for us, nothing compared to the feeling of seeing our hard work be so immediately appreciated by an organization making a profound impact on today’s generation.