Case study: Catch22

When crime charities Rainer and Crime Concern merged in 2008, the new organisation needed a clear brand. Our expert gives his verdict

Catch22: the new brand
Catch22: the new brand

Young people's charities Rainer and Crime Concern merged in July 2008 and decided to create a new brand that would reassure staff from both charities they had a stake in the new organisation. The Catch22 brand was launched in November 2008.

The approach

Branding agency Figtree consulted the trustees of both charities and spoke to beneficiaries about what they wanted from the brand. It also met organisations that commission young people's services from the charities. The brand was launched with a new website and Catch22 merchandise, including sweatshirts and pens.

The proposals

The agency came up with more than 100 names for the charity. It settled on Catch22 as a punchy, aggressive title that summarised the charity's cause and marked it out as a voluntary organisation. Figtree also wanted to appeal to commissioners. Simon Myers, managing director of the agency, said: "Catch22 strips out bureaucratic language and makes the charity look human and results-oriented, qualities local and central government look for in the voluntary sector."

The debate

When it was launched, critics said the name was puzzling, difficult for a charity to own and risked alienating new audiences. Chris Arnold, director of communications agency Symple, said it did not give a clear insight into the cause and young people would not understand the phrase.

But Myers thinks the risk was worth taking. "The charity market is cluttered," he says. "We wanted people to love or hate the new brand: either is better than indifference. Too many charities waste time talking about themselves rather than their causes, and donors don't have time for this: Catch22 ensures the cause is central."

The effect

Graham Beech, director of marketing and communications at Catch22, says the new brand has raised the charity's profile, allowing it to focus its aims more clearly and explain its work properly to the right people.

"The brand has also strengthened our credibility, which has brought more volunteers into the charity," he says. "They feel we give them a voice."

EXPERT VIEW - David Jenkinson, Creative director, Interbrand London

Gone are the days when charities would settle for using cliched images and language. They have to fight for our attention like everyone else out there.

Great brands don't just arrest your attention: they retain it. Figtree has created something that feels unavoidable. In stark tones, it gives you an immediate impression of the no-win situations that young people face.

The street-born yellow and black colour scheme and sturdy typeface are stark choices: there's no messing about with this design, and we're driven right to the nub of the issue the organisation addresses.

Of course, there is a more appealing alternative: the way out that is offered by this charity. How heartening it is to see Joseph Heller's bleak construct being used to generate hope for young people.

Score
Creativity: 4
Delivery: 4
8/10

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