Posted in: Community Work

Changing perceptions with a life-changing charity

We’re proud to have reframed and refreshed the Daisy Chain brand, as the charity celebrates its 20th anniversary and nationwide impact.

28th March 2023

James Bolton

James Bolton

James Bolton

Written by James Bolton,
Brand Strategist & Creative Copywriter

For 20 years, Daisy Chain have been making a life-changing difference to autistic and neurodivergent children, young people and adults across the UK.

Over those two decades, the organisation has grown dramatically. New services, new users and new audiences have evolved what was once a voluntary community initiative, into a professional, multiservice charity.

As Daisy Chain approaches this milestone anniversary, we’re proud to have brought their verbal and visual identity up to date, reflecting the wider neurodivergent landscape as well as the national-thought leaders they’ve become. And thanks to our Better Communities fund, we’ve been able to add more value, while helping to make a difference to a cause that’s close to our heart.

With support stretching from wellbeing and employability to performing arts and social clubs, Daisy Chain understands that every individual and every family is unique. That’s why they aim to provide not just support for autism, but support for life. The charity also runs England’s only autism-specific helpline, and has been recognised in the Government’s Autism Strategy for their Understanding Myself project.

Alongside frontline services, Daisy Chain launched its flagship charity superstore in 2014, dubbed the ‘IKEA of Charity Shopping’ by The Guardian. Since then its retail offering has expanded, with an eCommerce site preceding its Gateshead megastore, the largest of its kind in the region. This valuable funding stream directly supports services, and offers additional employment and volunteering opportunities.

Our MD, Mark Easby, said: “We’re proud to have been selected as the agency of choice for a charity that’s played a crucial role in the lives of people in our region, as well as nationwide for the last 20 years.

“Daisy Chain join the family of leading not-for-profit brands we’ve worked with – all united by a resolute commitment to make a difference where it matters most. We’re honoured to play our own small part in that.”

After surpassing an annual income of £2 million, and running services and projects that stretch way beyond their Tees Valley beginnings, Daisy Chain recognised the need to reflect their evolution and reset the foundations.

Remaining largely untouched since its inception, the original identity was compounded by a lack of wider brand world, toolkit, structure or hierarchy. As a result, the rebrand was a key opportunity to invest in the future and tell the story of Daisy Chain to the outside world.

Opportunities for every kind of mind

Before tackling the visual identity, we wanted to establish a strategic brand framework that would provide a clear narrative and reason for being. With the understanding of autism progressively moving towards acceptance rather than simply awareness, we were keen to place emphasis on the positivity and possibility of neurodivergence.

Type character – Daisy Chain

Taking inspiration from Temple Grandin, and the clear need for all kinds of minds, we reframed Daisy Chain’s brand story around their ongoing mission of increasing understanding, promoting independence and empowering people to live a life of opportunity and authenticity.

Every mind should be celebrated, nurtured, embraced.
Each one is filled with opportunity and possibility.

Our mind makes us who we are and helps shape our identity.
It’s what makes us unique; it’s what makes us the same.

We’re changing the world, not the person. Releasing and realising potential. Breaking down barriers to create a world of opportunities for every kind of mind.
Excerpt from Daisy Chain’s brand story.

This Big Idea cemented the strategic and verbal groundwork for the charity, and provided a springboard for creative executions. From here, we could look at visually evolving the brand in line with growth. Something that would change perceptions, and accurately express the true reach, professionalism and impact of the organisation.

Challenging perceptions and taking a second look

The new brand celebrates Daisy Chain’s belief in innovation, inclusivity and empowerment. Just like their personality, it’s optimistic, inquisitive and brave. It reveals the importance of difference in a typical world; it even challenges perceptions and makes people take a second look.

At the root of the brand is a transformed daisy, which helps bridge the gap between the Daisy Chain superstore and the main brand. As well as adding consistency, the icon is bursting with colour to represent the entire neurodivergent spectrum. Together with the wordmark, type choice and brand world, the identity evokes a sense of diversity, joy and positivity. And crucially it now feels cleaner, more mature, and ready for the future.

“For Daisy Chain, it was about more than just a highly crafted logo. It was about putting the strategic thinking and brand architecture in place to guide the charity forwards.”

John Taylor
Creative Director, Better

John continued: “The new brand tackles misconceptions head on, both in terms of the autism landscape and Daisy Chain’s presence. They now have an authentic, relevant and relatable brand that serves different uses and users – from their growing list of frontline services to their role alongside organisations like the NHS, and the multiple retail offerings they now provide.”

Emily Keavney, Marketing and Media Manager at Daisy Chain, added: “Our new brand is a celebration of 20 years of life-changing support. It’s about so much more than a logo. It’s honouring a legacy, and setting a strong foundation for the future.

“It’s making sure we’re representative of all of the autistic and neurodivergent individuals we support – a chain that continues to grow across our region and further afield.”

While evolution is necessary, we understand that change for any organisation can often be a challenge. In the case of Daisy Chain this was particularly true. With a personal legacy dating back to 2003, the original brand held significant meaning for many. But the time was undoubtedly right for change.

Account Manager at Better, Charlotte Linton, said: “As we engaged the senior leadership team and board of trustees, as well as staff and beneficiaries, it became clear the importance of bringing everyone along on the journey towards the new Daisy Chain brand.

“It was a sensitive shift that needed to be handled delicately, but it’s one which strengthens their cause, reinforces their standing and has the best interests of all at heart.”

Instagram posts – Daisy Chain

Ideas that power progress

Working with Daisy Chain has allowed us to maintain our commitment to the causes that matter most. Supported by our Better Communities fund, this has added value and expertise to a project with notable regional and national connotations.

It’s part of our ongoing pledge to shape a better world in which to live, learn and work – all by doing what we do best: creating ideas that power progress.

For us, that means a unique chance to directly support services during a time of need. For Daisy Chain, that means a new brand that’s reflective of the charity they’ve grown into.

Ultimately, that makes them better placed to make a life-changing difference to autistic and neurodivergent people for the next 20 years and beyond.

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