Scope’s rebrand in 2018 was a product of an 18-month process involving coproduction with disabled people, extensive insight and committed, collaborative work between agency and staff. The rebrand resulted in Scope’s ambitious vision for change and a fairer society for disabled people.
Scope was repositioned as a challenger brand, with reinvigorated values to bring through the bold and courageous side of our vision of equality. But after launching with a bang, a lack of investment, and a huge amount of change at Scope, meant elements of the brand weren’t implemented in the way they were intended and the impact of our vision for change fell a little flat. There had been a steady drop in prompted brand awareness and knowledge since the initial buzz of the launch fizzled, so it felt like it was time to take an honest look at what could be done to ensure the brand fired on all cylinders. The decision to reinvigorate Scope’s brand in 2020, wasn’t based on the idea that the direction we had carved out for ourselves in 2018 was wrong. When you start to see your brand metrics take a dip, it can be tempting to throw out what you have. But for us, it was about revisiting the vision behind the rebrand, discovering how we could implement the brand in the way it was intended, and evolving where it felt right to do so.
Focusing on reinvigoration rather than revolution was our driving aim, so we started with a brand ‘health check’. We commissioned The Team, the agency who worked with us on the initial rebrand, to run three internal workshops with staff from across the charity to lay bare all the issues we were facing with the brand. Luckily for us as a brand team, the feedback was honest but consistent and expected. The Team worked on the feedback from the workshops and produced a list of recommendations that fell quite clearly into five categories: visual identity, tone of voice, brand proposition, photography and internal immersion. As we predicted, internal brand understanding was low and therefore inconsistent in places, and our tone of voice, photography and visual identity didn’t always reflect our gamechanger personality. Taking this on board, we’ve developed five workstreams with dedicated teams and project plans which we’re aiming to complete by the beginning of 2021.
Already deep in the process of reinvigorating our brand at Scope, we’ve had a huge amount of support and enthusiasm internally. It’s felt like a positive and surprisingly cathartic process so far. Although our results are still to be seen, my tips for setting up your reinvigoration successfully would be:
- Let creative teams lead. If you’re looking to develop your visual identity, photography or brand guidelines, who knows them better than your creative team? Assigning a creative lead means that not all responsibility lies with your brand or marketing lead, and it gives your in-house creative team the opportunity to take ownership.
- Don’t be afraid to ask staff what they think – they don’t need to be brand experts. It can feel a little worrying tackling the subject of ‘brand’, like opening up a can of worms. But remember this is about reinvigoration. You have confidence in your vision, but this is an opportunity for improvement. I was pleasantly surprised at how dedicated our staff felt about making the brand work.
- Make sure all teams feel involved and have their chance to input. Whether this is about setting up initial workshops or working groups, make sure you involve a good cross-section of the organisation. And make sure you have the right people in the room from the start. For us, having an accessibility expert in the room from the word go is vital.
- Break it down into manageable chunks. This piece of work initially felt quite daunting. Breaking it up into workstreams made everything feel much clearer. Work up some objectives and rough timelines for each area and make sure it’s achievable for you and your team. Once you start ticking off actions, it will start to feel doable.
- Brand immersion is key. One of the major recommendations for us was to ensure our brand is understood internally as well as externally. A reason why your brand knowledge can be low externally is because your brand is implemented inconsistently by different teams, diluting your brand’s integrity. If you are looking at reinvigorating your brand, make sure this is part of your plan – unless it’s perfect already!
- Set clear objectives and benchmarks. It can be a challenge to set KPIs for a brand review, especially when brand metrics can take a long time to shift. However, you can still set clear objectives from the start. An all-staff survey to help you get a sense of how well your vision, values and tone of voice are understood can be really useful six months down the line when you’re looking to prove all your hard work has paid off.
- Have a clear sign off framework. Once you’ve set up steering groups, workshops, project leads and so on, the list of staff involved can be lengthy. Make sure you have clear guidelines on who has final sign off at each stage.
- It can be beneficial to have someone external come in. If you have the budget, bringing in an agency to run internal workshops and objectively advise on the findings can be helpful, especially when the subject of brand can feel quite personal. Just ensure they’re informed enough on your brand and the journey you’ve been through so far, before they join workshops with staff.
- Remember to include time for roll out! After all your hard work perfecting your brand, make sure you include time to roll out the changes. You may need to update your brand guidelines and internal inductions, and possibly make changes to your website or signage. Don’t let momentum slide at the final hurdle.
This case study is part of the CharityComms Brand 360 Best Practice Guide.