Branding and strategy

The brief

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation was established in 1974 as a buying consortium for local government and educational establishments, helping to get better deals for members on items they were purchasing.

In 2012, they embarked on an ambitious three-year business strategy with the aim of becoming the UK’s number one public sector buying organisation. A core element in achieving this was addressing how branding could and should help them get there.

Our brief was to develop the branding to help the team:

• Raise the profile of YPO nationally, supporting UK-wide growth.

• Engage with internal audiences to help improve their customer service.

• Help deliver growth and increase the level of dividend paid to the public sector.

Public Value Champions

We found that YPO needed to focus less on education, and instead on raising the profile of other supplies and services, and to look more modern. The new strategy had to be articulated into the brand platform, including a vision, mission, values and personality.

At the heart of the brand, we wrote an external facing proposition and brand essence of ‘Public Value Champions’.

To create a more modern, sophisticated, national brand, we recommended stripping it back a bit and becoming a little bit more simplified; renaming to, YPO. The identity turned out to be a confident, proud, brave and leads by example.

We injected modernity and sophistication, all through a bespoke type solution for the logo. This was supported by a new streamline: ‘Better Value, Delivered’.


The result is a beautiful brand with a meaningful purpose. Since the rebrand, YPO has developed new national partnerships from 13 in 2012 to 63 in 2016, experienced a 384% increase in associate members, and employee engagement had a 58% increase.

“Our work with Thompson has transformed YPO from a local primary school supplies business into a leading national procurement partner.”

Paul Smith, Executive Director.