Kidsfirst is one of New Zealands largest and longest established early childhood education organisations. With 63 outlets in the South Island, 450 staff and an annual turnover in excess of $22 million. Kidsfirst has maintained its not-for-profit status and strong culture while remaining competitive and commercially relevant. Kidsfirst is widely recognised as being progressive in its approach to teaching and learning, its brand and promotional activity, and its engagement with parents and wider communities. Being a kindy kid is something of a rite of passage in New Zealand, so Kidsfirsts ability to maintain these special ties to its charitable heritage alongside its commitment to the highest teaching and learning standards with customer experience is an important balancing act.
This project was created to mark the centenary of the much-loved Kidsfirst brand. The campaign, targeted at internal and stakeholder audiences, comprised centrally driven resources and activities, and site-level initiatives. The celebrations opened with a staff event and closed with the official launch of a 119-page, limited-edition book detailing the history of Kidsfirst. Every event, activity or item of content was imbued with the vibrant Kidsfirst-brand personality. Along the way, the 63 kindergartens took part in key network-wide events that generated activity and much content; funders, donors and influencers each had events with a more corporate and business-like focus; and the centenary highlighted the core differences that set Kidsfirst apart from its more commercially oriented competitors. The range of activities ran online and off, and aimed to engage—not just promote to—stakeholders closest to the organisation.