In our Brand Story Hero series, we shine a regular spotlight on different brands that we think tell their story well. Here we take a look at Nesta, a global innovation fund.
Product: Innovation foundation
Founder: Originally set up as an independent endowment of the United Kingdom parliament.
Year founded: 1998
Mission: We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time.
Nesta, National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, was originally set up in 1998 by an independent endowment in the United Kingdom established by an Act of Parliament. It was the first ever publicly supported national endowment in the UK.
Their mission was to innovate for the common good. Their purpose is to keep the balance in investment into innovation. This means they are committed to making sure investment doesn’t all go to harmful or trivial end companies. Instead, they seek to grow new ideas that tackle the challenges our society faces and change the world for the better
Nesta was originally funded by a £250 million endowment from the UK National Lottery. The company has grown and developed since then. On 14 October 2010, the Government announced that it would transfer Nesta from an executive non-departmental public body to a new charitable body. On 1 April 2012, this transition was made official.
Today Nesta is led by a Board of Trustees who support the Nesta executive team. They offer guidance, help and accountability when needed.
Over the years, Nesta has worked with a number of entrepreneurs and innovators. Emily Cummins, inventor of the solar-powered fridge and Kevin Fong, doctor and science communicators on BBC were some of their early backings.
Nesta has also committed to backing particular sectors of the community. In 2002 the company gave special attention to education. 2003 saw them place significant on improving innovation systems in the UK. In 2007 Nesta launched ‘Nesta Investments’. By 2010 their Innovation lab was formed.
In recent years Nesta’s international influence has grown. Working on projects such as European digital city index, EDCi and launched Nesta Italy.
Today Nesta is committed to expanding its practical work, with initiatives such as Nesta Health Lab. They are also looking to the future.
Their project ‘Futurescoping’ scans the horizon to find emerging technologies and radical idea that will help tackle the next generation of challenges.
Their storytelling lessons
Lesson #1 Put people at the heart of your brand
People listen to people. It is that simple.
Using people in your stories and messaging introduces a new level of trust. People have the power to engage your audience but allows them to hear and see information for themselves.
'You can't go to a social club and not see people you really genuinely love – it's like a big extended family' Meet Joe, Robyn, Rita, Laura, Amita, & Margarita from South London Cares – a community network of young professionals & older neighbours hanging out & helping one another in a rapidly changing city.
Pubblicato da Nesta su giovedì 15 giugno 2017
They can see the people and hear the voices, building trust and a relationship with what they are saying about your brand. This is turn turns into a stronger and better relationship between your brand and your audience.
Nesta recognises this and uses it well. Throughout their website and social media accounts, they use the words and images of people who have engaged with Nesta. These people have had a positive experience with the brand and demonstrate the good they are doing.
Lesson #2 Share your story simply
A story with excessive detail can be difficult to understand. One with too many twists and turns can leave your audience feeling lost. When telling your story simplicity is key.
Nesta has identified this and uses it. Their website is simple to navigate and understand. Their social media and videos are straight to the point. Nothing is convoluted or bogged down with unnecessary information.
This simple approach lets your audience access your information easily. It also allows them to digest it fully and understand it. This creates a better relationship between your brand and your audience. If they know who you are and what you do they are more likely to trust your brand and interact with it more. They are also more likely to recommend your brand to others, knowing they are passing on a trusted brand.
Lesson #3 Empower your audience
When you have an engaged audience it’s important to use them.
A visitor to your website or social media pages is engaged and interested in what you’re doing. They want to see what your company is all about. These visits should be seen as an opportunity to engage further with the visitors. Are you doing everything you can to engage with them? Are you providing them with opportunities to get involved?
Nesta realises their visitors are prospective members of their community. Throughout their website, they have ways to entice visitors to join their community and get involved. Nesta has recognised that visitors to their website may want more and provide an opportunity for them to do just that.
This demonstrates Nesta as an open community and one that is constantly engaging. It shows that they believe in their audience and keen to allow them to get involved. It shows they are not a corporate brand but instead, they are a community which is constantly growing. This helps build the brand’s relationship with their audience.
Their storytelling tools
1) Letting the world see what you do
Nesta has recognised the power of video and use it to their advantage.
Throughout their website and various social media pages are engaging, informative and thought-provoking videos. These videos share what Nesta is, what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Watch our new animation which explains what Nesta does and how we work, with examples of the kinds of ideas we've helped develop since our inception.
Pubblicato da Nesta su martedì 18 settembre 2012
Nesta are also aware that sharing information through video can have a bigger impact than many other mediums. There are videos which answer questions about their work, videos which share information about upcoming events and videos discussions with people Nesta has helped.
2) Simple graphics can help tell your story
Infographics are a great way to simply tell your story. They allow you to share information in a clear, concise and accessible way.
Nesta uses infographics across their website, social media and videos to help tell their story.
They have used a colourful, accessible and informative infographic to tell the story of their company. While their founding story could be difficult for some to understand the infographic makes it easier. The colourful timeline tracking its growth from its beginning in 1998 to the present day. It makes the story easy to understand and follow.
Nesta has recognised how infographics can help tell their story in a way the audience can easily understand.
3) A tailored newsletter to suit your audience
Each one of us is different. With different wants and needs. We are not all interested in the same topics, issues or have the same concern. It’s important to recognise this trait in your audience.
Not all visitors to your website or social media are the same. Each is visiting for a different reason. Each is looking for something different from your brand. Nesta has recognised this and put measures in place to identify with everyone who makes up their audience.
One way they have achieved this is through their newsletter. Unlike most brands, Nesta allows their newsletter signs up to choose what they want to receive. They are not all sent the same blog posts, events or content. When signing up for the newsletter you are asked to choose the topics that interest you and that you want to hear more about.
Your audience will be grateful for this. It means they will only receive content they are interested in. It demonstrates that Nesta cares about their audience and wants them to receive the best experience when interacting with their brand. Audiences will be grateful for this consideration. It also means they are receiving content they’re interested in, which will keep them coming back for more.