Case Study: Axelos

Creating and delivering a product brand for global certification giants Axelos


Axelos are the people behind ITIL®, PRINCE2®, and a wealth of other world-renowned best practice methods and certifications. They are dedicated to being the world’s most respected provider of global best practice, continually drawing inspiration from those who adopt best practice to increase profitability, grow market share and quickly respond to changes and challenges in their business environment. 


United Kingdom


IT, technology, industry & D2C


Product portfolio: branding and campaign delivery

The brief

Our overall brief was product marketing focussed  to ‘rename, rebrand and reposition Axelos’ PPM portfolio, and move to no longer using the term PPM’.
Axelos, their competitors and the certification world used the acronym PPM freely but there was some real confusion what it meant for and what products it covered, it actually stands for Project Portfolio Management, but their was real confusion in the market.
Axelos were also keen to formulate a cohesive, full-portfolio offering to the market for their Projects & Programmes Product Portfolio, with the objective of providing a clear user journey that will improve conversion rates and grow exam volumes for other products, beyond just PRINCE2® which was their current market leading product within PPM.

The approach

Using UPs signature BASE-UP approach we defined the brief further with Axelos, ensuring we knew the history and context of the world of PPM. We then carried out an extensive  audit stage, which covered:

  • A competitor audit
  • A internal brand workshop with key stakeholders
  • An online survey aimed at current and potential customers as well as partners and intermediaries
  • Desk research on what Axelos has gathered previously plus our own UP reviews
Working with Axelos we embarked on a thorough audit stage that allowed us to review how all their audiences felt about the world of PPM, how their competitors were approaching it and importantly what potential customers were presented with when they went to look into this space.

In our competitor audit we reviewed nine competitor and partners brands plus where Axelos were; we then overlaid this with research and work already completed and the thoughts, fears and plans of key stakeholders via a brand workshop. And finally we further overlaid a targeted online survey asking the key questions around PPM and its future. All of this was then fed into the strategy.

The solution

Our solution came in two main areas, the strategy and the execution.

Via our audit stage we built a strategy around some key areas / actions:

  • Axelos have the opportunity to take charge of the space, own it, and be a certification demystifier
  • To do this they must guide the audience through the current minefield - be the leader that supports them with simplicity  
  • By creating a simplified Axelos’ owned version of PPM; rename it, define what certifications it includes and make it easy to navigate
  • The key to this is creating simple and consistent product branding, positioning and messaging
  • And then start creating awareness…repeat, repeat, repeat to create Axelos ownership 

Execution wise we worked with Axelos to develop a full new brand, positioning and key deliverables that included:

  • Renaming to Axelos® ProPath™ 
  • Brand development, TOV, positioning, brand manifesto, copy blocks
  • Brand guidelines
  • Brand key items, digital advertising, web templates, landing page, emails, certification 

The brand was then developed further by UP via a couple of different acquisition campaign:

  • Acquisition key items, digital advertising, web templates, landing page, emails
  • 30 sec TV advert broadcast on the SkyTV AdSmart platform
  • Further digital advertising utilising cuts from the TV advert 

The result

  • Total number of visits to the Axelos® ProPathTM landing page, since April 2021 launch – mid November: 268,000
  • Total number of goal conversions based on our KPIs: over 3,100 with the majority of those being CTA clicks to find trainingor buy resources
  • Over 100 leads generated via an enquiry form on the webpage
  • The TV advert itself had 420,000 impressions over a relatively short four month burst

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