The Care Collective has launched it’s brand new website – take a look at thecarecollective.wales

 

 

When you set out to rename and rebrand and organisation and develop a new website and social channels in just 3 months, “You’ve taken a really robust approach” isn’t what you expect to hear in feedback from presenting progress to your board.

But that is a comment we heard as we presented our new name and brand to our board – in a special meeting called specifically to seek approval to change our name.

Before the meeting, I was admittedly, a little nervous. But on Tuesday this week, we sought approval from our board on the new name and brand approach. Without this approval we couldn’t proceed with registering it with the Charity Commission or Companies House. Both pretty pivotal milestones in renaming an organisation.

I wanted to make it clear to the board that despite our challenging timescale to develop and switch to our new brand we weren’t going to compromise on doing things right.

 

Doing things right.

 

By “Doing things right”, I mean developing our new brand not around a logo or a name, but what and who it represents. From the outset we wanted to work on this with our staff and also with the people that we support.

As I started to prepare for the meeting and think about our approach, it struck me just how much time people have poured into this over the last few weeks – all on top of the day job.

Design and creative is always such a subjective topic but we wanted to make sure as many people as possible had a say. We’ve had a huge amount of feedback from our staff. Not just opinion but really good feedback on stuff that will really matter to people we support. Font considerations to help people with dyslexia or a sight condition for example and colour considerations for people with dementia. Really great insight to show that we’ve properly considered this.

We’ve also invited unpaid carers to workshops and one to one interviews to get their thoughts. We’ve spoken to young carers, adult carers and parent carers to explore how our new name and designs make them feel and explore if they had any thoughts around the types of imagery we were thinking of. Again, I must thank everyone that got involved for being so open and taking the time to share their thoughts, experiences and stories. They’ve made us go back to the drawing board (literally!) a few times, but that’s testament to the quality insight they were able to provide. We really enjoyed the interviews and it’s certainly something we’ll continue in future for a whole range of subjects.

 

Sharing the name

 

After explaining our approach and then sharing the backstory about the development of our new name I couldn’t put it off anymore. They’d either love it or hate it.

So, as I pressed the button to share my screen with the board, I looked at the name on my screen as it buffered. I could feel a small smile appear on my face as I thought “Yes. This is a collective effort from a lot of people that know us better than anyone, it’s got a strong story and they are going to like this.”

The reaction upon seeing the new name in context was incredibly positive and after some excellent questions around its application, registration and some debate around colour schemes of the brand, I’m pleased to report that the board unanimously approved the name as well as providing valuable steer on some design choices that were still under consideration.

We were delighted.

 

Testament to the Team.

 

In the relief of having the name signed off by the board, we took a moment to reflect on how this work has really galvanised us as a team.

We’ve had people travelling into Cardiff, forming workshops, working with people across the organisation to gather content for our new website, we’ve seen people getting in touch with existing suppliers to prepare for renewing collateral and signage, we’ve had people discussing things in their teams and sending their thoughts and feelings about it, people getting involved with our new IT suppliers.

We’ve even had staff engaging with the people we support to make sure that we take views from as wide a range of people as we can.

And the best thing is, I’ve not had to ask for this to be done.

Largely people have taken the initiative, looked at what we’re trying to do and got on and put things in to action.

I’m incredibly proud and grateful for the effort everyone is putting in to get this done.

 

What’s next?

 

Well, you’re probably wondering why we’re not sharing the new name with you. And the answer to that is quite simple in that now we’ve had the approval, it’s meant that I can now register it with the Charity Commission and Companies House. But until that’s done and confirmed we’ll be keeping it under wraps.

But in terms of what else is happening next we’ve now signed off our brand concepts and the designers are busy working that up and applying it to our brand strategy as well as developing our asset packs and social media templates, we’ve held our first web design workshop and are about to sign off the structure for that.

As usual, we’ll be testing that new website with users to make sure that it does what it needs to. We want it to be more than a ‘shop window’, we want it to offer real value and support to the people that visit it and so it’s really important that we take the time to get it right.

I’d just like to end this blog by saying a huge thank you to everyone that has been involved in this work to date. It’s been invaluable.

Kieran.