How Samaritans managed the launch of its new brand identity with digital
We spoke with Sara Andersson, Corporate Communications Marketing Manager, Samaritans to find out how they’re using a digital brand management platform to roll out a completely new brand identity for 2019 across 201 branches.
Want to explore what an end-to-end brand management system can do for your charity? Brand iQ is the leading brand management solution especially catered to the charity sector. You can read more about why charities use digital brand management in our explainer article.
Samaritans has been providing emotional support for people who are struggling to cope since 1953. Having started out with one branch in London, the charity now provides listening services for people day or night, 365 days a year, answering a call for help every six seconds.
But as well as the phone, text and email helpline it’s most well known for, Samaritans provides supports to communities, families and people in prison. It partners with the rail industry to reduce suicide on the railways, forms coalitions and campaigns, provides expertise and research and works with governments, media and other organisations to inform and influence decision making.
“The listening service is the core element of our work, as a charity we do lots of other things, ranging from working in communities to working with companies,” explains Sara Andersson, Corporate Communications Marketing Manager, Samaritans. “So we are broadening out into a wider range of work, while wanting to increase the strength and appeal of the listening service. We’ve got this amazing core with our service and volunteers, so we want to make sure we build on this foundation but also make sure people can get the support they need when and how they need it.”
“As of 2019, we started a brand refresh to communicate the wider range of things that we do and reach different audiences, potential callers, potential volunteers, and people who want to fundraise for us or donate to us.”
The new brand’s look and feel builds on its signature green colour designed to communicate ‘positivity and hope’, but with more upbeat colours, clear messaging and font, and new visual identity designed to be accessible to a wide range of people, particularly young people. It is designed to work across digital channels and communicate to different audiences, with a theme of ‘connection.’
A flexible asset library
The charity’s more than 20,000 volunteers working across 201 branches in the UK and Ireland needed a way to use and communicate the new brand with confidence.
“Brand assets support a lot of the activities they do – raising awareness of our services in the community, helping to get more people interested in volunteering, helping them to run their local branch, or helping them fundraise,” says Andersson.
“We’ve always had an online catalogue of materials they could order for their work. But we really wanted to give them more support and more flexibility and variety in what they can do. That’s why we started working with Brand iQ, so we could give our branches access to all these different resources.”
Brand iQ is a brand asset management system that allows organisations to build a centralised place for their brand assets to be used and adapted. The organisation provides the designs, and Brand iQ’s support team then sets up the templates, structures and sign on systems to allow authorised users to access and use the brand for their needs.
These needs can be anything from ordering banners for events to downloading a local branch letterhead or a logo, setting up a branded PowerPoint presentation, creating a poster or email to recruit volunteers in their area, creating fundraising posters for quiz nights and bake sales, to Twitter banners or other social media content. Samaritans also provides its brand guidelines for anyone to download and share.
“What’s new with Samaritans’ Brand Centre is that in the past we had stock that we’ve been able to offer, from posters to t-shirts, but now we also have lots of digital materials they can download,” says Andersson. “There’s also more flexibility – templates on the system can be customised to the local branch, so users can pull off print-ready artwork to take to local printers or print themselves in different sizes.”
Adapting to the future
The new Brand Centre also includes reporting capabilities, so managers get a view on what assets are being used, how frequently and by whom. This way they are able to see where people are requesting the same materials and plan accordingly, saving time and resources.
“With reporting we can see that almost every branch has used it, so that’s great,” says Andersson. “We’ve certainly seen a big uptake in terms of more people using our assets, partly because of the brand refresh itself but also having a new system where it’s really easy and quick for branches if they want to make, for instance, a pull-up banner that has all their branch’s details on it.”
“It’s easy and user friendly. And the templates are quite advanced in terms of what people are able to pick up and do with them, reducing the amount of work for our design team internally. In that sense it’s certainly made life easier for people in our branches. In the central office we’re also hoping its going save time and energy we can use to the develop other things, as we continue to adapt new user experiences, develop new tools and make sure we’re relevant to a diverse range of people.”