Project Description

The Big Picture

The State of Illinois traditionally used numerous ‘unemployment offices’ scattered in each county to help the newly unemployed find work. It carried a very negative connotation and perception among the population and businesses. It also lacked connectivity with resources to help train dislocated workers for jobs that were needed in the communities.

An online portal called Illinois workNet® was developed using a specialized online platform to streamline workforce development processes for businesses looking to find qualified employees, unemployed individuals wanting to find training and jobs, and workforce professionals to communicate about opportunities and programs they offered through the physical unemployment center office sites.

The Big Question

How do we improve the perception of the centers among all the various audience members who use the unemployment centers, and connect that physical location resource with the growing online presence of Illinois workNet?

The Big Answer

Change the existing brand image of Illinois workNet as a technology-only solution, and consider it as an umbrella brand – one that can unify the channels to reach all the target audiences.

Through Illinois workNet, resources are found in the face-to-face interaction at local workforce investment area offices as well as the online ‘portal’ of Illinois workNet for businesses, individuals and workforce professionals. The Illinois workNet name and brand message will create a positive image for services to the unemployed.

The Big Plan

  • Create one statewide brand that connects the physical workforce development sites with the Illinois workNet® virtual site
  • Develop a unifying brand story of this ‘new’ connection between individuals, businesses and workforce development professionals
  • Unify the diversity of workforce partners and centers with one overall brand message that works within multiple scenarios
  • Make it easy for all target audiences to understand how to use and benefit from the system resources
Omni takes the time and effort to get to know us, the client and our needs and deliver on it. Also, services are cost effective and dependable.
Jeanne Kitchens, Associate Director, Illinois workNet

The Biggest Hurdle

Making wholesale changes to a brand that forces people to change how they interact with that brand is always difficult. Before the new brand was launched, the public was unclear what the new program would do for them as they heard about the changes, and even the people responsible for implementing the changes weren’t clear on what this was all about or how it would work. Dissension and grumbling among the ranks were an expected side effect.

Once the brand image and message were finalized, we cooperatively worked with the task force from the Illinois Workforce Partnership to create and hold several webinars for the centers and workforce professionals to introduce the new brand logo, explain how and where it would be used, what the new message and mission of this integrated system would be, and how to implement changes in a timely manner at their individual sites.

Simultaneously, we conducted a statewide awareness program with outdoor messaging; print ads customized for the various statewide offices, signage, and public relations activities.

The Brand Image

The Brand Message

Illinois workNet provides individuals with training, connects businesses looking to hire, and helps individuals looking for jobs, all which work to develop an effective workforce that builds economic and job stability for the state.

The Big Takeaway

Illinois workNet has given birth to dozens of programs and online platforms since its humble beginnings, and works on several projects with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and educational programs such as the Illinois Open Educational Resources. The statewide workforce offices all share one identity, a common brand message and vision, and continue to build positive perceptions with the audiences they serve. Omni Ideas continues to work with this client on these and other projects, providing branding solutions and consulting. And you know what they say, if the State is happy, everyone’s happy. CONFIDENCE IN YOUR STRATEGY ALONG WITH PATIENCE AND THE ABILITY TO CLEARLY COMMUNICATE YOUR VISION ARE GAMECHANGERS.