Today’s blog praises a rigorous approach to brand development.

Uncommon as it is for us to blow our own trumpet, we’re going to make an exception for a good cause.

We’re delighted to say that City Year UK have appointed Muse and our creative agency Technique to define their brand and develop a new identity for the next stage of their growth. We’re equally pleased that they are going to go about it thoroughly. The process will involve knowledge gathering, stakeholder interviews, qualitative and quantitative research and proposition development. It will also include identity development, messaging, audience engagement planning and finally, but just as crucially, organisational alignment behind the newly defined brand.


What you might know is that City Year UK is a youth social action charity, which challenges 18 to 25-year-olds to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time voluntary service. They support pupils at schools growing up in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK. It enjoys Barack Obama as one of its key supporters.

Across the globe governments have recognised the value of full-time social action by creating national community service programmes. They see the positive impact on public service provision, youth employment, social integration and the creation of more active citizens. Rewards such as educational grants and debt forgiveness are given to participants as an incentive to take part.

The picture couldn’t be more different in the UK. Full-time volunteers are in legal limbo. They don’t have a legal status and are therefore categorised as NEETs (not in education, employment or training). As such, they are prohibited from receiving support (National Insurance Contributions, no expenses or incentives and no personal development training).

City Year UK is calling the government for a legal status to be created for full-time volunteers and we hope that our work will be helping them to gain the recognition they rightly deserve.

You can find out more about City Year UK here.

And of course you can find out more about Muse and Technique here.