Serving the services that matter most

We’re continuing to support the causes that are closest to our hearts, by offering a helping hand during times of need.

1st December 2022

1st December 2022

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Estimated Reading Time 7 Minutes

James Bolton

James Bolton

James Bolton

Written by James Bolton,
Creative Copywriter

Alongside creative storytelling across a variety of channels and audiences, James helps define our client propositions by creating unique brand stories and verbal guidelines that get to the heart of their purpose and mission.

As we all feel the pinch in the post-pandemic world, the organisations that are deeply embedded into our communities are likely to be amongst the hardest hit. Yet at the same time, they’re also the services that are facing increased pressure.

That’s why we feel it’s more important than ever to support the causes closest to us. And in doing so, continuing to build a better place to live, learn and work, as well as stronger, more informed brands.

For us, this commitment is very much about balancing purpose with profit, and fundamentally delivering both economic and social wellbeing in our communities. As well as ongoing initiatives with the likes of High Tide, The Northern School of Art and Teesside University, a big part of that is supporting the purpose-driven champions who are positively changing our region; the very organisations who are removing barriers, reducing inequalities, raising aspirations and increasing opportunities.

And as these essential and specialist services tackle spiralling demand, we’re offering our strategic thinking to make their brands more relevant and remarkable. Just like the support they offer.

Helping well-known names evolve

With testing conditions and day to day adversity, many charities can lose sight of their brand and its importance. With this comes a risk of miscommunication, a lack of differentiation and ultimately reduced awareness. For established charities, this can be compounded by organisational or delivery change, which isn’t always reflected in their look and feel.

Based in the North East, Daisy Chain have been supporting autistic and neurodivergent children, young people and adults for close to 20 years. Together with service expansion and significant wider growth, itsidentity and visual perception has failed to keep pace with its offering. We’ve recently been tasked with overseeing their rebrand, in line with their far-reaching, person-centred support and industry-leading role.

Marketing and Media Manager at Daisy Chain, Emily Keavney, said:

“As we approach our 20th anniversary, now feels like the perfect chance to assess and update our brand. In that time, our proposition has evolved and so too has our presence.

“We’re offering more services to a wider audience than ever before, all while developing our retail offering and becoming a voice on the national stage. Our new brand needs to reflect this by carrying our background and proposition into the next two decades and beyond.”

To address this disconnect, we’re currently in the process of creating a new verbal story and visual brand world which aims to increase visibility and create distinction. As the conversation and understanding around autism also changes, this is an ideal opportunity to shift Daisy Chain’s language to a message of empowerment, positivity and personality.

Another organisation facing similar hurdles was The Teesside Charity. 10 years on from their inception, the charity consists of some of the area’s biggest businesses and most-well known figures, all joining forces to empower communities across the region. Following their rebrand and anniversary year in 2021, the charity has reached another milestone by passing the £5 million fundraising mark.

Alongside our role as patrons – which allows us to see first hand the impact they’re making – we’ve rolled-out a major website revamp that’s playing an intrinsic role in their marketing activity. As well as further bringing the brand to life, the site refresh includes a much needed overhaul of the Hardship Fund, allowing more effective management of applications, and increased awareness of how money can be accessed. This helps meet growing demand for support, which aims to fight poverty, put food on tables and keep families and elderly people warm this winter. On top of that, and as part of our long-term commitment to the charity, a new ESG platform is in development, providing a place for businesses and voluntary organisations to work together to deliver social good.

Teesside Charity - new website.

Manager at The Teesside Charity, Diane Williamson, said: “Last year’s name change and rebrand brought our identity in line with the journey we’ve been on over the past 10 years.

“Together with the generosity of our patrons and donors, our refreshed online experience is now helping us to support people when they need us most.

"With rises in the cost of living, it’s a difficult time for many families but we’re doing all we can to make a life-changing difference across Teesside.”

Raising the start-ups

For charities at the beginning of their story, the brand barriers can often be slightly different. In a crowded voluntary sector, much marketing activity is around building momentum and gaining traction. To help with this, we’ve pledged our long-term support to two start-up causes that are close to our heart.

Founded in memory of Russ Devereux, the Headlight Project provides mental health support for children and adults, with a particular focus on supporting individuals and families who’ve been affected by suicide. The charity also works with partners to deliver emotional resilience workshops and one to one counselling.

As the organisation has matured in a short space of time, we’ve helped to build its brand around an established identity, including enhanced guidelines and a new look website. The refreshed digital footprint provides an improved user experience, with intuitive navigation and features such as a donate button and events section. Together with a refined identity, this reflects Headlight’s expansion from early-stage foundation to fully functioning support service.

Our Digital Director, Adam Gatenby, said: “Headlight is a cause we’ve been working closely with for the past couple of years.

"While they’re still in their relative infancy, they’ve already experienced significant organic growth, which needed to be expressed in their brand and online impression.

“Following the launch in 2020, we’ve carefully evolved their brand, both from an aesthetic point of view and functionally through the website. In many ways, this has been a perfect case of brand and digital working hand in hand.”

video

Tracking back to our pledge of bridging skills gaps and raising aspirations, Tech Equal is a recently formed charity that’s tackling digital inequality. Spearheaded by tech entrepreneur and Visualsoft founder, Dean Benson, it’s a cause that’s particularly relevant to our industry and our role in inspiring the next wave of digital and creative talent.

Whether it’s training for teachers or fundraising focussed on placing digital devices into the palms of pupils, Tech Equal aims to create a world that offers equal access to connectivity, learning and support. And as the charity grows and continues to tackle an issue that’s not restricted by regions or borders, we remain steadfast in our commitment as corporate partners.

Project Lead at Tech Equal, Sarah Heward, said: “Digital equity is needed on a national scale. We’ll be working with schools to ensure that e-learning is at the forefront of everything they’re doing, providing ongoing support as we embed digital championship into school culture.

“This isn’t going to happen overnight, so it’s really important that we have an open mind to finding solutions that drive us towards strong digital skill attainment.”

We first supported the charity during its early stages, forming a brand identity, marketing toolkit and supporting website. Following a formal launch last month, we’ve built on momentum by developing their website further with dedicated team, news and event pages, as well as integrated donation options.

Tech Equal Logo.

With the help of our Better Communities fund, we’re able to deliver more value to each of these projects, allowing organisations to access specialist branding services that may otherwise have been out of reach. As well as building brands that are a true reflection of these not-for-profit heroes, this helps us make a difference to the communities in which we live and work.

As we approach the season of goodwill, that feels particularly relevant. Combine this with the wider context of rising living costs and increased demand, and it feels not just timely, but also the right thing to do.

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