Brand report: Social Enterprise UK

The national organisation, which promotes social enterprise in the UK, gave itself a fresh look with a new name and logo

Social Enterprise Coalition
Social Enterprise Coalition

When social enterprise began to flourish at the turn of the century, a group of organisations formed the Social Enterprise Coalition to promote the idea of running businesses for social purposes.

The coalition initially focused on lobbying, but as the number of social enterprises increased, it began providing support, services and networking opportunities to thousands of new organisations across the UK.

As the coalition grew, it increasingly found its name didn't reflect the breadth of its activities.

The main problem was the word 'coalition', which suggested that the organisation was a closed shop. It also gave the impression that it was a temporary entity, campaigning on a single issue.

Gradually, the organisation came to the conclusion that it needed a new name and visual identity that reflected what it did.

It conducted research with members to get their views on what they felt the organisation should be called and how it should present itself. Their views informed the rebranding process that followed.

Three agencies pitched for the tender to conduct the rebrand. Spencer du Bois, which was chosen, started work in January this year. It then came up with options for names and, after getting feedback from members, chose Social Enterprise UK.

"We wanted something simple, and we have always been the UK body for social enterprise," says Celia Richardson, director of communications at Social Enterprise UK.

The strapline "the voice of social enterprise" was replaced with "the voice for social enterprise", but the biggest change was the logo.

Out went the old blue creative and in came a radical new range of logos, each featuring one of 12 social entrepreneurs holding the logo on a piece of paper. The logo's transparent design means its colours change according to the background.

Richardson says the idea to feature actual social entrepreneurs who are members of the organisation captures the "massive breadth and potential" of social enterprise in the UK.

The new look was unveiled in August, six weeks later than planned. Richardson says the cost of the exercise was less than £30,000.


Lara SamuelsLARA SAMUELS - Director, The Communications Hub

It takes a degree of bravery to change the name of an established organisation. It's something I've seen others struggle with, but the move from Social Enterprise Coalition to Social Enterprise UK is a sensible transition. It's perhaps not exciting, but it does what it says on the tin, which is sometimes underrated. With the big society firmly on the agenda at the moment, it's also a perfect time to establish the organisation's position in the sector.

The execution of the new logo is innovative. Its use over different imagery succeeds in conveying the richness and variety of social enterprise in this country.

Less clear is how successful this will be in explaining what social enterprises are and do. As a creative device, however, it's simple, distinctive and eye-catching.


Creativity: 3

Delivery: 4

7 out of 10

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