Our work with UK Export Finance (UKEF) supports their mission to ‘advance prosperity’ for UK businesses. Practically, that means helping current and potential UK SME exporters to take advantage of their full potential. But it’s tough out there.

The UK Government wants to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance. Whether that is to help win export contracts, fulfil orders, or provide payments.

Opportunity explained

In today’s unique business and economic situation, UK SMEs are looking for ways to evolve their business, take better care of their own business, and thrive. Exports could be an answer: for the businesses themselves and also for the wider economy.

The challenge facing many businesses is that exporting is more difficult than ever: red tape, regulations, custom controls, logistical challenges and more. This is causing falling sales, and less optimism about profitability in the next 12 months.

The need for finance, funding or insurance should not stand in the way of resilient and determined SMEs when it comes to exporting.

For the UK Government’s ambition to become real, we need to overcome a handful of challenges:

SMEs LACK CONFIDENCE around exporting. They may have been turned down for finance, they don’t know where to go and they may be confused when it comes to getting started. We need to build confidence and advocacy.

There is also a LACK OF AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING of UKEF and how it can help, including the finance and insurance available


We were clear that UKEF was not the hero here.

We wanted to go further than just focussing on the individual business benefits of working with UKEF.

Instead, we created a new creative direction that focused on the benefits to the individual (business growth / success) and the collective (value of SMEs in the UK and its economy). UKEF’s important role was in realising that ambition, with Government-backed finance that you can trust.

Crafting the right story, with the perfect hierarchy of messaging, was critical to our success.

Playing on the theme of support, the new-look Exporters’ Edge campaign inspired our SME audience to find out more while also reassuring them that they have the financial support of the UK Government.


We created five scenarios to represent, hero and inspire the sectors most likely to export goods or services.

We used simple, elegant photography to bring the needs of the SME and also the support of UKEF to the forefront.

We used people to humanise the story and build confidence in others.

Our flexible approach to production enabled us to maximise our stills production, including the execution of short social films, and multiple shoots in one day.

To demonstrate the supportive relationship and the important role that UKEF play, we used real-life UKEF employees to represent Export Finance Managers. This enabled us to convey diversity, but it also created significant savings on talent and usage.

The tone of voice blends professionalism and support with functional, hard-working messages. This enabled us to talk about the real challenges the audience faced – from getting finance, finding insurance, fulfilling orders and getting paid.

The Exporters’ Edge campaign world came to life in print, radio and across digital channels. We created an insights comms framework that lands our over-arching message across Awareness, Consideration and Action phases of the funnel.