Institute of the Motor Industry

Rebrand, responsive website and marketing campaign

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is the professional association for the retail automotive sector. Setting and promoting professional standards in the industry is more important than ever, which is why IMI approached Cyber-Duck. We overhauled the branding for their diverse products and services, and transformed their commercial strategy together in the process.

Visit website


Ninety-five years since inception, IMI has constantly grown, reflecting the industry it represents. Because of this, IMI performs many roles, like offering qualifications and accreditations; recognising standards; and raising consumer and youth awareness. Historically, each product or service had a sub-brand, occasionally with no mention of IMI. This left many confused about their core services, and even surprised at the true breadth of their role. 

We aimed to reposition IMI as a branded house, rather than a house of brands: drawing the disparate sub-brand system together, and strengthening the link with IMI as a whole. The new brand strategy should evoke quality, responsibility, and integrity. Our objectives were:

  • Design a new branding and tone of voice in-line with IMI’s commercial objectives.
  • Create scalable brand guidelines, with artwork for key marketing materials and stationery.
  • Deliver a library of photography for use throughout future communications.
  • Launch a Professional Register website, with videos featuring BBC F1 host Suzi Perry.


We began with intensive research, holding regular strategy and design workshops with IMI. We spoke to stakeholders and teams, increasing understanding of their goals and expectations for the project. We also interviewed a broad cross-section of users, uncovering what IMI means to them: from young apprentices to industry leaders. Key themes began to emerge:

  • Not enough people were aware of IMI’s benefits and range of roles.
  • The industry's public perception doesn't fairly reflect the majority of professionals' expertise.
  • IMI’s brand must engage with young people, independent garages, and end consumers.

Insights from website analytics data and search trends helped us uncover how to draw the fragmented sub-brands into a cohesive, single structure.  From this, we mapped the various products and brands into a more logical hierarchy. IMI’s brand structure was simplified through clearly defined facets, or ‘families’, using colour to group similar products. This meant each product could retain an individual identity, while tying it back to the master IMI brand for coherence.

Producing a smart and inspiring brand

As you’d expect from an organisation founded in 1920, IMI has plenty of heritage built up over the years. It was important for the new brand to be informed by this history, without appearing old fashioned or out-of-touch. Therefore, a key challenge for the project was to straddle this fine line between contemporary and classicism. We aimed to create a smart, modern brand, underpinned by the integrity of its heritage.

We worked closely with IMI to develop the brand, from the logo to the visual language including typography, colours, and photography.  Alongside this, we developed their written language by defining a stronger, more confident tone of voice, and providing copy for key marketing collateral.  Whilst exploring concepts for the IMI branding, we defined five key design principles, otherwise known as the five ‘C’s: constraint, consistency, clarity, credibility and changeability.  These informed every single design decision we made for the project.

The result is a smart and professional brand that reinforces IMI’s position as the authoritative voice of the retail automotive sector. The new logo uses clean, modern lines, with a nod to Britain’s rich motoring heritage by using a variant on the iconic ‘British Racing Green’ as the primary colour, It fuses contemporary and classic perfectly.

We helped IMI implement the new logo and branding on key marketing material, in time for a series of key events and campaigns. These included:

  • Print and digital advertising
  • Certificates, brochures & fact sheet hand-outs
  • Document and email campaign templates
  • Member magazine templates and application forms
  • Exhibition walls and pop-up stands
  • Stationery, T-shirts, badges and office signage
  • Social media profiles

The future

To accompany the brand, we provided a scalable, robust set of guidelines. This complemented the new strategic direction taken by IMI this year, and enabled their team to continue taking the new brand forward.

Finally, we put the branding principles into practice by designing a new responsive website for the IMI Professional Register. The IMI Professional Register is a directory of individuals working in the automotive industry: from mechanics and technicians, to sales representatives who have been recognised for their experience, professionalism, training standards, and commitment to ethical working practices. The website helps people to find automotive professionals they can trust, whether conducting research at home, or in an emergency using their phone.

Going forward, we are leading a holistic cross-channel marketing campaign for the IMI Professional Register, aiming to raise awareness amongst consumers and trade professionals alike.


55% increase

in consumer awareness

organic search

17% increase

in registered professionals


winner of Best PR Campaign

at the Association Excellence Awards

Jane Allan

“Changing a brand is challenging for any organisation. Cyber-Duck's thorough methodology allowed our stakeholders to be involved and see the brand evolve during the project. The outcome is a clean, modern classic look with a clear brand strategy for our organisation. ”

Jane Allan

Head of Communications, IMI

Let's work together

Our interdisciplinary team can work as an extension of yours - we would love to hear your ideas.

Discuss a project