The Department of Defense (DoD) recognizes the importance of providing military families with access to quality, affordable child care as a work force issue that directly impacts the readiness of all armed services. For the first time ever, DoD is building a cross-service reservation system that allows families in any service branch to search for and request care at any child care program on any military installation in the world. As this new system is implemented at both CONUS and OCONUS installations, it is critical that information about the program is communicated to both the program staff and families in an accurate and timely manner.
Sage was hired to first brand this important initiative, and to develop messages and visuals that would resonate with military families from any service branch, stationed anywhere in the world. Sage was then tasked to develop a strategic communications plan that leveraged existing DoD communications processes and procedures to disseminate important information to the installations in a timely and efficient manner.
We began the branding process by sending a team of strategic and creative experts out into the field to talk to military families, and to observe them in their work environments in order to gain a complete understanding of the target audience. The team spent a number of days at various military installations representing each service branch, where they conducted messaging workshops with the families, program staff and command representatives, and also captured custom photography of actual military families and programs.
Next, we synthesized our findings into a comprehensive brand guidelines manual that provides structure for the use of the MilitaryChildCare.com logo and all other visual identity assets. The brand guidelines also include audience-segmented messaging that can be used to communicate the benefits of the new system to any stakeholder.
Sage then leveraged the sum of all branding outputs, and worked side-by-side with two other contractors supporting this initiative to develop, implement and test the user interface (UI) design of the MilitaryChildCare.com online system. We then created a toolkit of outreach and communications materials that can be easily leveraged by various communicators across the highly-complex DoD communications landscape to provide information when and where it is needed.
As the DoD prepares to begin the global rollout of the new MilitaryChildCare.com request for care system, Sage is working to finalize MCC Central; the final component that will bring everything together. MCC Central is a website conceptualized and built by Sage using the Agile development methodology, that will act as a central repository for all marketing and communications materials, training resources, and operating procedures required to effectively and compliantly implement this new initiative on a global DoD-wide scale. Once MCC Central is live, Sage will conduct regular analysis and reporting to ensure that the resource website exceeds the minimum technical performance standards and that the user experience is constantly evaluated and optimized to meet evolving needs.