Defence Equipment & Support’s people underpin new employer brand

Stafford Long worked with their client Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) on this employer brand launch, which included films and animations, and put the people working on a wide range of exciting projects – and their ambitions – centre-stage.

About the campaign

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) delivers some of the world’s most advanced defence equipment. Stafford Long & Partners needed to create an employer value proposition (EVP) that showcased the importance of this complex work to the nation’s security. A discovery process included workshops on diversity and inclusion, social media use, attraction strategy and the organisation’s website. The team also looked at DE&S’ public image and its existing brand work.

New concepts were refined with DE&S and tested with internal focus groups and external audiences. The new brand needed to make candidates aware working in defence did not mean the frontline, to attract niche skill sets, to put D&I at its heart, to highlight exciting STEM careers and to attract candidates in Bristol, where there are on average 5,000 engineering vacancies per month. The new EVP became ‘Your ambition leads here’, and comprised four pillars: Lead for the nation; Lead change; Lead your own way; and Leading in inclusion. It signalled to candidates that no matter what their goals, ambitions or background, they would find the support to succeed at DE&S.

The new branding was used across a range of platforms, including a new brand film, career development animations, department-specific animations, and a spotlight on life and work in different teams. Content was refreshed every month based on insights from tests. Social, paid search and programmatic ads drew more than 10 million impressions, with overall applications increasing by c.1000 in the year of launch and a particularly stand-out performance for procurement roles. Applications from under-represented groups also went up.