We asked Hospiscare Chief Executive, Glynis Atherton, Director of Income Generation, Kate Few-Singh and Marketing and Communications Manager, Sarah Raynor, to talk about what it was like working with us on their rebranding project.

What is Hospiscare?

Hospiscare is a Devon-based charity that delivers adult end-of-life care across Exeter, mid and east Devon, an area of over 700 square miles with a population of 382,000 people. They do this through their Exeter-based hospice, their Hospital Support Team at the RD&E hospital in Exeter, two day hospices and their teams of Community Nurses who provide care for patients at home. These services are delivered by a team of over 250 staff, supported by 1100 volunteers. To do this, for an average of 2,000 patients every year, costs over £5 million.

What did you need?

We asked Chief Executive Glynis Atherton what prompted the rebranding project. “In 2013 we carried out a comprehensive review of our model of care,” says Glynis. “This highlighted how the need for our services would grow and that we would need to raise more money to meet those demands. We knew we would need to make changes, so we undertook an comprehensive market research exercise to find out how we were perceived by people in the communities where we care,” Glynis continues. “As a result we identified that our branding needed modernising so we could compete with other charities, both local and national, and attract new supporters. The research showed that we needed greater clarity about who we are and the work we do.” In conclusion Glynis says, “We want a visual identity that patients, families and supporters recognise. An identity that looks professional and modern. It is also very important for us that people understood that we are a local charity, so we need to be more visible in our communities.”

Why choose Alder and Alder?

We had been working with Hospiscare for almost eight years when they invited us to submit a proposal for their rebrand. In that time we have developed a deep understanding, not just of Hospiscare, but of the charity sector as a whole, and especially the challenges facing hospices. It was this experience that we applied to the proposal we submitted to Hospiscare. “You had a good track record of working with us,” said Kate Few-Singh, Director of Income Generation, “so we had confidence in you, but you also gave us the best proposal,” she concludes. “Your pitch was creative, insightful and well thought out. You had done your research and taken time to understand the brief.”

What did we do?

It was clear that the new identity needed to take a fresh approach, in order to address the issues detailed in the brief. But it was about more then looking different. “In creating Hospiscare’s refreshed brand identity it was vital that our branding partner understood and incorporated the outcomes of the stakeholder research,” says Kate Few-Singh, Director of Income Generation, “especially the essence and values we wanted the new look to convey. Alder and Alder did this very well, listening to the feedback and asking questions to develop the final design.”
At the heart of the new identity is the logo. We worked through a number of options before reaching the chosen design. At each stage of the development the design work was assessed against the feedback gathered through the research activity, to ensure the creative process remained focused. Our proposal was to create a logo that can be adapted for each community that Hospiscare works in, to help reinforce the fact that Hospiscare is a ‘local’ charity. The message beneath the logo can be changed, when appropriate, to include the name of each of the 17 communities where Hospiscare deliver their services.
To support the logo we have established the other elements Hospiscare need to form their visual identity. There is a new typeface, a colour palette, a new strapline, guidelines on the imagery they should use and a design style to bring consistency to all of Hospiscare’s communication material, whether it is print or digital. But there needs to be flexibility too. The way Hospiscare present themselves to potential supporters of a fundraising event, is very different to how they want to present themselves to patients and their families. “The refreshed Hospiscare brand has to work across a broad spectrum of departments,” says Sarah Raynor, Marketing and Communications Manager. “Ensuring the new identity is always presented in a clear and consistent manner is key.”
With all the elements of the visual identity established we have been able to apply the new identity to the wide range of applications that Hospiscare needs to communicate with their audience. This includes stationery, literature, fund raising material, signage, digital communications, shop facias and vehicle graphics. We have worked closely with Hospiscare’s marketing and communications team and have created a comprehensive brand guidelines document. “The brand guidelines that Alder and Alder produced are an excellent tool for the whole organization, laying out simply how the new identity is presented and demonstrating how each department dovetails with the next,” Sarah continues. “Having these guidelines agreed and established unites Hospiscare. It makes our basic marketing principles easy for colleagues to access, understand and implement.”

Does it work?

The new identity was unveiled in August 2015, so it’s too early to make any bold statements. But anecdotal feedback has been good. “We are delighted with the result,” says Kate Few-Singh, “and have received a really positive response from our supporters too! They like the tree. It has a lot more depth to its meaning, people see it in different ways: representing the elements of our care, our roots in the community, the tree of life. It’s fresh and happy,” Kate concludes. “It stands out on the high street.” The true test will be to look again in 12 months, to see how the identity has helped Hospiscare respond to the challenges and opportunities they face.

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