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GOV.UK Verify transformed how the British public identify themselves and access national services online. With 15+ years’ experience in providing secure verification services, GB Group were chosen to become a GOV.UK provider. But they faced a new challenge. They must create a new B2C brand and encourage citizens to choose them against recognisable competitors.

Cyber-Duck devised and executed a colossal strategy to build awareness. We created everything from their brand and website, to integrated marketing and apps.

Cyber-Duck’s tireless focus on understanding the end-users we’re targeting, in addition to their creativity in reaching individual audiences effectively made them the ideal partner to help us build our consumer brand and launch our marketing campaign.

Suzy Thomas Head of Customer Experience, CitizenSafe

Objective: Build Awareness & Engagement

GOV.UK Verify is a unique solution to the British public’s demand for a more digitised government. It transformed how they identify themselves online. Citizens chose a certified third-party provider to confirm their identity just once. This opened an account to access national services including tax returns, driving license applications and more.

GB Group’s CitizenSafe is the best choice on GOV.UK. They were the only provider with 15 years’ dedicated experience in providing secure electronic identity verification. But they had previously focused on B2B. CitizenSafe was new to the consumer market and would compete with well-known brands like the Post Office, Verizon, Experian, Barclays and Paypal. CitizenSafe needed Cyber-Duck to overcome this significant awareness challenge.


  • 1.

    Devise and lead a brand and marketing strategy to build awareness and trust in CitizenSafe.

  • 2.

    Produce a fresh user-centred website where CitizenSafe could detangle complex government services for users.

  • 3.

    Create and promote content – diversifying format, type and platform – so the brand could engage and add value to users.

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User-centred Strategy

As ever, our user-centred design process began with intensive research. Key personas were defined through blending keyword, data and trend analysis with interview insights from a cross-section of users.

We discovered users chose a GOV.UK provider they felt could be trusted with their identity and sensitive information. But a fast, user-friendly experience was paramount. If the verification guide and process were too lengthy, rigid or confusing, users would head elsewhere. Our work needed to strike a critical balance between the two.

Secure Yet Friendly Brand

First, we developed a warm, secure and trustworthy brand identity for CitizenSafe. The logo design assured users that data is padlocked safely, with a play on the familiar verified ‘tick’.

Comprehensive brand guidelines walked their team through the colours, typography and visual language chosen. We created an authoritative yet accessible tone of voice, using simple English and graphics.

We knew that establishing community-driven values for CitizenSafe was key. All their platforms, content and campaigns must help the British public to understand and access key government services. This would promote CitizenSafe’s simple and secure verification in a positive and helpful way to their key audience.

Animated Video Production

Navigating the tangled web of government services isn’t easy. So, we produced a fun, animated video that could explain how the GOV.UK Verify service works – and drive users to choose CitizenSafe.

With a distinctive style, prehistoric Sophie’s story revealed how CitizenSafe can securely verify identities just once (in 10 minutes!) ready to use across all government services. We tailored the design, content and messaging to ensure the video was compelling across multiple contexts: website, commercial and social networks.

Citzen Safe Animated Video Poster

Simple Compelling Website

We designed and developed a striking illustrated website. Underpinned by the unique video, a colourful flowchart walked users through selecting a government service and signing in with GOV.UK Verify. It illustrated how choosing CitizenSafe for identity verification is a vast upgrade – taking just 10 minutes, instead of the tedious 10-day process!

The website reinforced CitizenSafe’s helpful, community-driven branding. The guides we produced add value for users, offering tips on state pensions, income tax, budgets and more. Further pages endorsed CitizenSafe’s advanced encryption techniques. This reassured users their sensitive personal data was secure.

Supportive Marketing Strategy

Our cost-effective, multi-platform communication strategy carefully targeted personas around specific dates, needs and issues that would propel them to use GOV.UK services imminently. For example, there’s a frenzy to submit Self Assessment tax returns by January each year. We wanted to capitalise on this opportunity!

Consistently, we created content about how users can take advantage of each service made available through GOV.UK Verify. This covered a huge range of topics and audiences – from helping with Universal Credit applications and State Pension forecasts, to demystifying Personal Tax accounts and even students’ payslip tax deductions.

Beyond just the written word, we created content in a range of digitally engaging formats. These included infographics, downloadable guides, videos and quizzes. These were promoted across a wide range of marketing channels such as digital advertising, social media, email, PR and influencer outreach.

Added Value With Mobile Apps

We designed and developed apps for iOS and Android that offered an additional, personalised service to users. Each app was closely tied to CitizenSafe’s brand, as the content solved real challenges for GOV.UK users. All apps were designed using CitizenSafe’s brand guidelines and a creative twist on their classic padlock logo.

The CitizenTax app asked users a series of quick questions and analyses whether they need to submit a Self Assessment tax return. The built-in net salary calculator gave users the difference between their take home and total salary.

The CitizenCar app will be released soon. It helps users track essential details about their vehicle, MOT and service dates. The app provides handy reminders about renewals, helping users get them done and dusted with time to spare.

The Results

Overall, we devised and executed a colossal digital strategy that raised consumer awareness of CitizenSafe against other identity verification providers, which were well-known consumer brands.

We infused CitizenSafe with a warm, secure and accessible personality. These values were reflected in a unique illustrated website and animated videos. Our integrated marketing strategy promoted CitizenSafe’s simple and secure service by offering valuable content (and even apps!) that demystified complex government services. Thus, CitizenSafe was established as a positive, supportive brand for their target audience.

Combined, our work ensured CitizenSafe received over 28,000 visitors to their GOV.UK portal. They seized a third of the market share of a top consumer competitor. This was double their KPI for anticipated market share after their first year. Amazing really, for a brand that was completely new to market!

Cyber-Duck’s tireless focus on understanding the end-users we’re targeting, in addition to their creativity in reaching individual audiences effectively made them the ideal partner to help us build our consumer brand and launch our marketing campaign.

Suzy Thomas Head of Customer Experience, CitizenSafe

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