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In the lead up to the recognition of 30 years of Australian CRC history at Collaborate Innovate 2021, along with the drive of newly appointed CEO Jane Dwyer, it was incumbent upon Cooperative Research Australia (CRA) to articulate its vision before its stakeholders in industry, government and academia. Ellis Jones was approached to articulate their role in strengthening and promoting the transformative potential of collaborative, industry-led research.
Ellis Jones engaged in a co-design process with key stakeholders and members to identify and understand CRA’s unique strategic advantage within the cooperative research landscape. The process was tailored to uncover the needs and preferences of these audiences, and communicate the shared value it creates for its stakeholders and society by defining a vision for its future.
A review of the market and sector forces impacting the cooperative research landscape today – such as the diversification of the research sector, competitive sources of funding and a push for commercialised research – defined the unique markets and communities that CRA is active within. Ecosystem mapping exercises further affirmed the key players within their sphere and the far-reaching goals of the organisation to be an example globally of the innovative nature of Australia’s collaborative research.
Empathy mapping and value proposition workshops gathered insight into the functional and emotional needs and benefits of CRC/CRC-Ps, Government, Industry and University audiences. By identifying the commonalities between them, key themes in CRA’s benefits began to emerge, forming the foundations of a brand position that is relevant, meaningful and believable, and resonates with all target audiences.
Ellis Jones captured CRA’s essence through the term ‘Realising Potential’, which would underpin their core conceptual identity and embody the hopes for innovation and technology in Australia’s future that CRA members are working to make a reality.
Ellis Jones developed visual elements that translate CRA’s essence and brand associations into a set of tools that express its visual strategy. The creative direction communicates connection and CRA’s role as an amplifier, knowledge base and advocate.
The morphing curves of the logo symbol and visual language distinguish the CRA identity as innovative and forward-thinking, coupled with a photographic direction that explores the impact of collaborative research on society and the impact members have on people through products and services created by research. Aesthetic choices in the building blocks of the brand as applied to logotype, colour palette and typography add warmth to the clean and contemporary visual identity, blending into a fresh and approachable brand with gravitas.
The coalescence of visual application combined with strategic vision and brand personality equipped CRA to outwork its value proposition of promoting the transformative potential of collaborative, industry-led research through knowledge exchange, professional development and advocacy.
CRA unveiled the new identity to researchers, educators and industry at the 2021 Collaborate Innovate conference, positioning them into the next era of supporting cooperative research ventures.