Borders College – Brand Development & Training

Delivering training at Borders College


Borders College is a further education institute based in the Scottish Borders. Providing a variety of courses for further education, commercial and community learning needs, the organisation has campuses throughout the region,


Borders College continually seeks new routes to engage with each of the many distinct target segments and agreed that a new strapline and visual artwork was required to engage with school pupils.


Working with the teaching staff and the Marketing and Communications team, we organised and ran a brand strapline workshop with pupils from local high schools.

Starting with a game, where we asked the pupils to guess the brand from the strapline, we demonstrated the importance of a good strapline (and the adverse impact of a bad strapline) to a successful brand.

Following the game, we asked pupils to split into two groups and mind map thoughts, phrases and words that came to mind when they thought about Borders College.

Lastly, we tested a few strapline concepts with the pupils, carefully gaging their verbal and non-verbal response to each.

After the workshop, we distilled the information gathered and refined it further, presenting the College with two options.

Finally, we created a series of artwork templates, using the straplines.


The new artwork and straplines were very well received by the team at Borders College, in advance of the public launch.


“Focus groups can be a key tool for many organisations and we used the services of McGowan Marketing to run a workshop with school aged children on what they though made an effective strapline. The results certainly helped us change some of our preconceived ideas of what we believed we should be saying to this target group.Operating as an independent facilitator Emily was able to tease out of the group what resonated with them and help us create straplines that were able to build into our marketing.

We then used McGowan Marketing to help create fresh visual content enabled us to utilise the experience of the team to develop editable marketing templates for our next phase of promotions.  As price can be a prohibitive factor in commissioning external design work, we were delighted at how cost effective the investment was.“

Find out more about our Brand Development and Training here.