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Neka Creative took on the formidable task of branding Minnesota’s vast workforce system

Minneapolis, MN, September 2019Neka Creative is the brand development agency behind CareerForce, Minnesota’s unified workforce system brand. After a deep immersion with stakeholders, partners and leaders, Neka Creative uncovered several issues impeding success. The workforce system was a fragmented network of nonprofit, private and government partners with various approaches to serving employers and job seekers. This decentralized approach contributed to a significant lack of awareness.

However, many who were aware misunderstood the system’s role. Some thought it was the unemployment office while others felt it wasn’t a resource relevant to their needs. System and brand unity was needed to change perceptions, better serve customers and help close employment gaps in Minnesota. Neka Creative turned these insights into a clear brand purpose, systemwide operational approach and important paradigm shift—to become a resource people wanted to access instead of one they had to. The agency created the CareerForce brand from the inside out, including brand strategy, system strategy, naming, identity, stakeholder engagement/activation and marketing/communications. Neka Creative’s role also included strategic management and content for, an intuitive online portal designed to ensure greater career development and talent recruitment success. CareerForce is now one unified brand committed to prosperous outcomes for career seekers, employers and Minnesota. A joint charter was signed by the Governor’s Workforce Development Board (GWDB), the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards (MAWB) to ensure system oversight and success. “As chair of the Marketing Committee of the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards, I was so pleased with Neka Creative’s inclusive and thorough approach to engagement and brand development. We are excited about the fresh new look, unified brand and new level of services for Minnesota residents.”—Deb Bahr-Helgen, director, City of Minneapolis Employment and Training.

Neka Creative’s role was extensive from start to finish. They traveled the state three separate times, conducting interactive sessions and workshops to 1) understand workforce issues, opportunities and aspirations, 2) learn what was needed to deliver a brand that would motivate diverse system stakeholders, partners and customers and 3) discover how to inspire universal support with diverse regional areas. Neka Creative’s proprietary approach to culture- and brand-building led to the development of an inclusive brand direction illustrated in a comprehensive playbook. The CareerForce Brand Playbook captures the brand story, system strategies, unified definition and structure, brand blueprint, manifesto, value action steps, brand architecture, messaging matrix, identity standards and more. Neka Creative also managed the brand evolution for three years with their recommended organizational structure co-led by the GWDB, DEED and MAWB. “Rebranding Minnesota’s workforce was as transformational for the Neka Creative team as it was for the hundreds of stakeholders we partnered with to bring the brand to life. This is just the beginning; this unified system is in a position to lead Minnesota to prosperity. I am so pleased we were a part of it.” Rosemary Ugboajah, CEO, Neka Creative.

The workforce system is an invaluable resource for career seekers, employers and Minnesota communities. However, few people know about the system, let alone understand its breadth and depth—until now. CareerForce was launched to the public the week of September 16, 2019.

About Neka Creative
Neka Creative is a brand development agency delivering smart strategic solutions through their proprietary process of Inclusivity Marketing™. Neka Creative is also a woman- and minority-owned business. For more information, visit or contact Rosemary Ugboajah at

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