Charity branding – the challenges of consortia branding

Over the last few months we have been working with our colleagues at Seascape design on developing a new charity brand for a consortium of charities led by Mind City and Hackney. Consortia charity branding brings both rewards and particular challenges.

The small charities in the consortia have a very wide range of experience and expertise in supporting people with mental health conditions will offer an exciting ‘one stop shop’ for local people in the borough of City and Hackney. We ran a workshop with all the charity partners to identify the ‘character’ they wanted the new services to have and its values. We asked people to work in pairs to say which animal the new service would be – and found that ‘wise owls’ were popular. We then broadened out the discussion to think about charity brand values and run a naming brainstorm.

Coming together to develop a new charity branding identity can be the first time that partners start to see something concrete come out of their months of planning and is usually an important step in the partnership. It may also be the time when any underlying tensions or unresolved issues are revealed, although that was not the case with this partnership.

The workshop provided us with the material we needed to put together a longlist of names and understand the characteristics that the new charity brand would need to convey.

However, a particular challenge of consortia branding is that the brand needs to both capture the ambitions for the new service and be acceptable to all partner organisations. It was important that this charity brand was broad enough to be inclusive of all the services offered through the new organisation and feel welcoming to local people with mental health needs. It would also need to have a look and a feel that did not have any bias to any of the partners so the name, brand colours and typography all needed to be worked out very carefully.

From the longlist of options we supplied, the group eventually chose to be known as Wellbeing – with the full name of City and Hackney Wellbeing Network. It is a name that ‘says what it does on the tin’ which was important to the team and also that didn’t use any words that were prominent in any of the partner organisation names.

John from Seascape then developed up a new visual identity for the service and a series of templates they could use to launch and publicise the mental health support now available.

The new service launched on 5 February 2015 and we will follow its development with interest.

Charity branding – the results

Charity branding - Mind City and Hackney Wellbeing Network new logo

Charity branding – Mind City and Hackney Wellbeing Network new logo

charity branding - City and Hackney Wellbeing Network poster template

charity branding – City and Hackney Wellbeing Network poster template



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