When the Princess Royal Trust for Carers merged with Crossroads Care earlier this year, the resulting charity needed a new name, identity, vision and mission, all with a modern feel.
Both charities were established brands, but they lacked the profile of larger organisations and wanted to combine forces using an image that clearly conveyed their unified vision.
After a competitive tendering process, the communications agency Forster was commissioned in October 2011 to work on the new brand. It consulted staff, stakeholders and the public to create a name - Carers Trust - and a brand to reflect the support services and advocacy that the charity offers unpaid carers.
Luen Thompson, director of marketing at the charity, says that it was important to ensure that the voice of carers and networks of both organisations were part of building the new brand. "We want to be the go-to organisation for people who are interested in carers and the issues affecting them," she says. "We wanted a lively, brand that represents the diverse nature of the work and people.
"Before we agreed on a final name and brand, we tested a range of options and chose the one that was most universally liked, but specifically the one favoured by carers."
The name Carers Trust was chosen to show that it is a charity for carers, with the strapline "action, help, advice" demonstrating that the charity speaks out for carers and offers practical and emotional support. The logo design features a rainbow of coloured segments to reflect that carers are a wide range of people.
Forster's consultation process identified significant gaps in the public's knowledge about carers, which inspired the charity to commission research about the struggle that unpaid carers face. This research was used to help promote the charity's new identity and vision when it launched in May, at a cost of £60,000.
"The response to the brand has been really positive," says Thompson. "We have had a lot of good feedback from our network partners, who think the brand is lively and reflects how we want to be recognised - as a dynamic force for carers. Recognition for us as a charity is also growing: there has been so much about carers in the press recently."
Dan Dufour, head of brand, The Good Agency
There is more to a brand than a logo, so let's study all of the elements being used here.
The name and strapline are simple and descriptive, but straplines made up of three words are fairly common in the sector. I feel the wording of the mission, though worthy, could be snappier to make it more inspiring.
I'm drawn in by the photography on the website focusing directly on carers, but would like to see more personal stories to emphasise the human touch. The logo typeface feels relevant and friendly, although I question the accessibility of the centred composition. I find the 'rainbow segments' sickly rather than sweet: they remind me of Age UK's 'colour loop', which has more finesse.
This isn't ground-breaking or of great beauty, but does what's required from top to bottom. It's nice - but is that enough?
Total: 5 out of 10