The Institution of Fire Engineers

Global repositioning and rebrand

The Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is a global membership body of fire experts who assess knowledge of fire and professional experience, awarding internationally recognised membership grades and fire-related qualifications. Founded in 1918 with a hugely rich heritage, its brand and marketing was struggling to keep pace with its success, the diversity of its members and the significant changes taking place in the sector which had been accelerated by Grenfell and climate change.

Our brief was simple: make the IFE fit for the 21st century and beyond.

Following extensive scoping of the brand and its marketing requirements, we started the nine-month process of repositioning and re-branding the organisation internationally (still ongoing).

Particular highlights of the project were the significant, in-depth research carried out (desk-based, interviews, questionnaires, competitor and sector analysis) and the global stakeholder consultation involved with its Board, Project Team, Special Interest Groups and International Branches, as well as its Membership. Similarly, following the research and approval of the resulting strategy, we conducted internal and external focus groups to test the brand’s new mission, vision and positioning, as well as its new brand identity and its global application.

Two further things stand out. A key element of the brief was to provide the IFE with the knowledge and frameworks to be able to use and apply the brand globally without being dependent on agencies. For this, PR, social and copywriting training was provided to ensure its new positioning, key messages and tone of voice were understood and applied appropriately. We also created robust guidelines and toolkits with the IFE’s key brand and marketing templates (brochures, exhibition stands, stationery, internal comms templates, newsletter, email and other digital templates).

Initial feedback from its internal launch has been that the brand and plans will bring cohesion, consistency, pride and a vision for the future in the values that define its culture and its supportive partnerships. Feedback from the focus groups on the positioning and creative, has been that it shows the IFE as a more dynamic, inclusive, diverse, international and outward looking organisation, without losing its core competencies and heritage.

“The IFE commissioned EBY to run a comprehensive project reviewing our marketing and stakeholder engagement which formed part of a business wide four-year strategy. This was a significant project encompassing extensive international stakeholder research, creating a brand and marketing strategy with new propositions, developing an entire brand refresh and continuous evaluation throughout. As a member organisation, there were a number of critical stakeholders that needed to remain positively engaged and this challenge was managed very effectively by EBY. Strategic work completed by the team even extended to operational suggestions, some of which have been adopted and are now in place.

Throughout the entire process, EBY were an excellent and approachable partner, delivering the project on spec and on time, providing expert advice along the way. They took time to understand our organisation, nothing was too much for the team and they have been a huge support. With this strong working relationship in place, the IFE have since commissioned further work including the development of a marketing plan and PR services.”

Marketing & Communications Manager, the IFE


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