We spoke to new ACO Corporate partner, IE Brand & IE Digital, a leading brand and digital agency for benevolent charities. They told us how, after 27 years as charity specialists, they are doubling down on their commitment to the sector.
Since 1994, IE has been helping charity clients to connect with their audiences through brand and digital. We’ve worked with scores of charity organisations including Christian Aid, Bowel Research UK, Young Enterprise, and Resuscitation Council UK.
Our work includes an award-winning rebrand and new website for ACO member Clergy Support Trust. The project led to a 66% increase in the number of beneficiaries helped, year on year. You can watch IE discuss the project alongside Clergy Support Trust over on ACO’s YouTube channel.
More recently, we’re delighted to be working with the ACO itself – to redesign their website. And we’ve also been working with the Bank Workers Charity on a large brand research and messaging project.
Charity specialists, challenging friends
When IE Brand & IE Digital was founded, our mission was to give charities access to the industry’s best creatives and techies. Back then, this was all-too-commonly only possible for ‘big business’.
In the mid-nineties, we were almost unique in our role as charity specialists. There are now countless agencies claiming to be driven by their values, but few with the depth of expertise we have on the IE team.
What’s even more important is that we don’t railroad our clients. We passionately believe in gaining the support of stakeholders, from your trustees to your beneficiaries. And we believe in taking the most effective path for the charity, based on research and evidence. Even if it means challenging your assumptions and steering you away from the ‘comfortable’ route.
As tempting as it may be to appoint an agency that will nod in agreement at every turn, we’d always urge our clients to choose a more challenging friend.
Walking the walk
IE is constantly pushing itself to create the very best work for charity clients old and new. And in a crowded sector, we are determined to lead the way in balancing purpose and profit. That’s why we are working towards becoming a Certified B Corporation. The agency is going through a rigorous external assessment across five impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. Consideration will also be given to our size, sector, and geographic market.
If we’re successful, we will take our place among a small number of companies in our sector. There are fewer than 30 B Corporations in the UK’s vast Marketing and Communications Services sector, and around 40 working in IT Software and Services / Web Design. We’ll also be rubbing shoulders with leading B Corp brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia.
IE has worked hard to improve across each of the five impact areas, using client surveys to take our stakeholders’ priorities into account. We hope that our commitment will give even more charities the confidence to place their trust in IE. We’re an agency that shares strong values and we’re determined to leave the world a better place than we found it.
Investing in people and the environment
One big factor in our application to become a B Corp is our imminent move to a bespoke studio space. The studio has been entirely funded from IE’s reserves after decades of careful financial management. It represents a significant investment in our people and our community.
Our new space, within a key regeneration area in Birmingham, reuses the internal skeleton of the factory it replaces. It will minimise IE’s carbon footprint with features like carbon-neutral carpet, lots of natural light and a whole lot of insulation. It’s kind to the planet as well as our team and our clients.
We’re confident this improved studio environment will make us even more attractive as an employer. And we’ll continue with the hybrid working approach that worked so well during the pandemic. That means we can continue to offer our clients access to the industry’s very best Consultants, Creatives, Web Developers, and Project Managers.
We’ll offer our clients a better experience for creative collaboration with our award-winning team. All under one eco-friendly roof.
The next chapter
As we emerge from lockdowns and back into our new studio, it’s an exciting time for IE Brand & IE Digital. We can’t wait to see which charities we’ll be working with in 2022 and beyond.