We have been bursting with excitement at HQ over the last few weeks. Obviously there's been the small matter of launching our #WorkThatWorks Movement, not to mention our co-founders bagging the odd award (Red Women of the Year has a pretty good ring to it!). But also we’ve been anticipating the launch of our brand spanking new website and rebrand. And the big unveil has FINALLY arrived!
In the Beginning
As you’ve probably noticed things are looking a little different; so what’s with all the change?
The original Digital Mums branding came about in a very different context to the one we're in now. It was created by our co-founder Kathryn while her and Nikki were still running Hackney Social, the social media agency that was the precursor to Digital Mums. Our social media training hadn't even been created yet, but was intended to be an internal tool, a way to train up an army of social media managers to work with businesses. Digital Mums v.1 was more agency than training company.
When you're a start-up you tend to pivot and that's what we did. Hackney Social fell by the wayside as we realised that getting people job-ready was a major project and we had to really up our game. Over multiple prototypes, pilots and development cycles, not only did we become a bonafide social media training company, but thanks to our amazing methodology we ended up becoming (in our opinion) the best social media training company in the world. There's nothing else, for mums or otherwise, that blends such practical real-world learning with the unbelievably supportive and engaged community we have. There's no social media training out there, and very few broader digital media / marketing training courses for that matter, that comes close to preparing their students for the working world like we do at Digital Mums.
We're on to something special and we felt that we needed a brand that reflected this; our quality, our high standards, our professionalism. But also something that was still us; that was fun and colourful and didn't take itself too seriously (if you've checked out our Instagram feed you'll understand).
A brand that reflects our vision
Above all we wanted a brand that really emphasised just how big our vision has become. Our initial vision was to empower 1,000 mums into flexible jobs. At the time we set that goal, in December 2014, that seemed like a crazy pie-in-the-sky figure. We had only trained about 15 women by that point so you can understand why it seemed so huge.
But less than two years later, we're nearly halfway there. While we're unbelievably proud of our amazing team and how far we've come, as we've grown as a business so has our vision.
As our #WorkThatWorks research showed there are currently 2.6 million mums not working in the UK, with seven out of 10 saying they'd go back to work if there was more flexibility. 64% of mums have also taken work below their skill level simply because it is flexible. That just isn't good enough. Supporting 1,000 mums is great, but ultimately it's just a drop in a much bigger ocean. There's a lot more work to be done and we feel that we're up to doing it.
So to reflect our re-calibrated vision, we've rebranded. We want to reach more mums and support them into a new kind of working life. As we've said before, we want to start a Movement for something much bigger than ourselves and this is part of that journey.
So what's different?
We liked our old website a lot. We’re big believers in small businesses keeping their websites as simple as possible and focused on the call to action they want people to achieve. Ours was focused on capturing people's emails so we could send them our brochures, and we built a successful business off doing just that. But it was a bit too simple and didn't allow us to have as much information as we'd like to have about our training on it.
Our new website has a much slicker, cleaner design and, most importantly, is much, much bigger. We have a lot more information about our training on there, about us, our team and our community.
The colour palette we've used until now is still a throwback from the days of old. There wasn't anything wrong with the colours, but they just didn't reflect who we are now.
We wanted bold colours. One of our mantras at Digital Mums is #DoTheHustle; so having self-belief, taking ownership and making opportunities happen. What better colours to reflect having confidence in yourself and not caring who knows it than neon?
(Also, we really like neon).
The training names
As part of the rebrand we had a serious think about the names of our two training programmes. For our Community Manager Programme, we found that there was some ambiguity from applicants and students around exactly how a Community Manager differed from a Social Media Manager. And the fact is although there are some nuanced differences, there are an overwhelming number of similarities too, which made differentiating between them challenging at times. We also found that when speaking to our Community Manager Programme graduates, they were getting jobs as Social Media Managers, not Community Managers. As a result, it seemed clear that the name just didn't quite fit.
For our Strategic Social Media Manager Programme we didn't feel that the name encapsulated just how unique this programme is. All students are matched with a real business to run a live campaign - it's more like a work placement or on-the-job training than a training course and there's really nothing else like it out there. And as we saw in this blog we published, our graduates are not just becoming Social Media Managers. They're going on to consult, start agencies, do strategic communications, speak in public and more. The name didn't quite fit anymore either.
So that’s why the 'Community Manager Programme' has been renamed the 'Social Media Management Course' to better reflect what students are learning - social media management - and the jobs they're getting afterwards. Meanwhile the Strategic Social Media Manager Programme is now called the 'Social Media Marketing: Associate Programme' to better reflect that students are learning how to use social media to help businesses grow, rather than uniquely becoming Social Media Managers.
Life at a start-up is never dull. You have to thrive on change if you're going to succeed. But while our website may be a whole lot shinier and our colours a lot more rocking, our passion to achieve our goals remain the same. We want to empower as many mums as possible into finding stimulating, flexible careers that fit around family life. Ultimately, our rebrand will enable us to support even more women into finding the perfect work/life balance and their version of #WorkThatWorks. So let’s do this.