Out of the shadows

St John’s Innovation Park provides a thriving working environment for innovative R&D, technology and science companies and is an integral part of the North Cambridge research and development cluster. The 21-acre plot is wholly owned by St John’s College, Cambridge. Development began on site with the construction of St John’s Innovation Centre; completed in 1987 it the first centre of its kind in Europe dedicated to supporting young knowledge-based businesses. Construction of a further six buildings followed and further development is already in train - the next stage being the construction of two additional, highly sustainable office buildings, alongside a new green transport hub and gym. 

One of the key issues identified when we started working with the team at St John’s was that the Park itself was not recognised, either internally or externally, as a cohesive Park community and a place in its own right, but rather was seen as a collection of buildings clustered around the Innovation Centre – which enjoyed a well-defined proposition and high profile reputation both within the Cambridge business community and internationally. In effect, the wider Park was sitting in the shadow of the Innovation Centre…

St John's Innovation Park


Strategy / Branding / PR / Web / Print & Digital Marketing / Social Media / Photography / Moving Image / Signage


Graphic Design / Natasha Alker / Steve Edwards
PR & Editorial / Sarah Brereton / Linzee Kottman
Print / Andrew Hawkes, Printerbello
Social Media / Linzee Kottman
Strategy / Sarah Brereton / Lewis Robinson
Web Build / Banjo Bray


Elevating the brand

Our job was to elevate St John’s Innovation Park as a place in its own right and position it with a strong message and brand. Given the equity in the name and reputation of St John’s Innovation Centre we needed to carefully consider how to elevate the Park brand to sit comfortably alongside the Centre whilst at the same time demonstrating that the Centre was actually part of the wider Park environment and community, as opposed to a standalone entity. 

We created a strong, vibrant, cutting edge brand and messaging framework for St John’s Innovation Park, which collectively makes a strong statement and elevates the Park within the context of business, science and innovation/technology locations in the region. This bold approach is a good fit with the types of organisations currently located there and acts as a strong pull for prospective occupiers too. The more prominent and eye catching approach, also helps both the internal and external audiences to pay much more attention to the place itself, which is now seen as the wider Park community that it actually is, rather than the site of a well-known innovation centre.

Creating a community

However, we didn’t stop at brand identity, given that this is just one element of a brand in its truest sense. The community already on the Park were an exciting mix of tech, innovation and life science companies, all operating in key sectors crucial to the future of the UK economy. However, they weren’t necessarily aware of what additional benefits being part of St Johns Innovation Park actually offered, including on-site sports activities, business-focused networking, talks and social events to name a few. Our job therefore included engaging with the existing Park community to communicate the St John’s Innovation Park value proposition to them too, signpost how they could get the most out of it and build their success stories into the wider narrative for the benefit of both the existing occupiers as well as the Park. To this end we set up the St John’s Innovation Park digital (website) and social channels in order to consistently and regularly showcase the community and its pioneering work, alongside messages which demonstrate what makes the Park a different and exciting place to be.  

Today, we are retained by St John’s College to manage all marketing and communications Park wide, including the ongoing management of its social and digital channels, press and media liaison and the design and execution of specific initiatives to promote special projects, such as the future development of the Park.

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