It was an absolute pleasure to be involved with the Sheffield schools BiG Challenge interim marketing competition organised by the ‘See It Believe It’ campaign run by Sheffield City Council.  An initiative which has been running for many years, it engages with school teams from all over the city. Steel City Marketing were asked to nominate four winning teams for the ‘Best Branding’ award.

James Biggin presenting the ‘Best Branding’ award to the four winning teams / James with his fellow sponsors

What is the BiG Challenge?

The BiG Challenge is an enterprise competition open to all Y7-Y9 students in Sheffield. Teams of up to 6 people can enter. Each team has the opportunity to design and grow a business from a £25 start up loan. The BiG Challenge is a fantastic experience for young people in our area, allowing for new and transferrable skills to be learnt and developed. This year, 134 teams have applied to take part in the challenge.


What is the BiG Challenge Marketing Awards?

The marketing awards are an interim competition held at the beginning of the BiG Challenge. Teams had a week to develop and present their ideas to meet briefs set by sponsors and enter different awards categories. Each award is sponsored by a local company, with some amazing prizes for the winners, which will help teams to develop and progress through the rest of the competition.

The categories for this year were:

  1. Steel City Marketing Award for Best Branding
  2. Andy Hanselman Consulting Award for Best Sales Pitch
  3. Harvey Morton Digital Award for Best Media
  4. UnLTD Award for Best Ad.

The awards event took place on Monday 6th December at the Showroom Workstation. Due to Covid-19, it was a hybrid event whereby the collective sponsors delivered the results via live stream to participant school teams.

Best Branding Category

With our background and expertise in branding, this category was well suited to us! The brief we set asked for:

  • Business branding ideas – logo, headers, strapline
  • A plan for using the branding
  • How the branding will represent the business and appeal to the target audience

The winning teams had the option of either having a product made using their business branding (i.e. on a t-shirt) or experience a branding masterclass at Steel City Marketing.

The Winning Teams

We were blown away by the level of entries. It was a strong category with all the teams putting in real effort into their branding and the rationale behind it. So it was a difficult decision to whittle it down to just four teams. The chosen winning teams were:

  • ‘Toffee’ – Eco candles, lip scrubs and sweet treats – High Storrs School
  • ‘Bake It, Frame It’ – Baked goods and photo frames – Sheffield High School
  • ‘Simply Soapy’ – Environmentally friendly and sustainable soaps and candles – Tapton School
  • ‘Cow & Crow’ – Homemade gifts and cards – King Edward VII School

Each team provided strong explanations and propositions to match their product offering.  The choice of logos, themes and colours were all well executed. It was important for us to give each team constructive and positive feedback. Certain tweaks such as revisiting straplines, being consistent and clear with branding and adjusting images used in logos were suggested to help them to improve upon their business propositions.

It was a great experience to be involved in the BiG Challenge interim marketing awards and to pass on our knowledge to the potential future leaders of our region. We wish all the students all the very best in making their businesses a success! Thank you to everyone involved in organising the awards and making it possible.