Cancer charity to change its name for the second time in four years

The charity rebranded in 2015 but says the name has proved to be confusing to the public and unpopular among staff

- This article has been amended; please see final paragraph

The blood cancer charity Bloodwise is to change its name for the second time in four years and is proposing calling itself Blood Cancer UK.

The charity rebranded in 2015 to change its name from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to Bloodwise at a cost of £125,000.

But Gemma Peters, who became chief executive of Bloodwise in 2017, told Third Sector that as time went by the charity’s new name proved confusing to the public and beneficiaries and was unpopular among staff.

She added that the name Bloodwise did not sufficiently explain how the charity worked.

"Rather than it being what I thought it was in the beginning – that Bloodwise is a neutral name and we needed to build the brand so it meant to people ‘the country’s leading blood cancer charity’ – what was actually happening was that people thought we were something else," she said.

"People thought we were about blood transfusions or other blood disorders, such as sickle-cell or HIV. People thought we were a company, not a charity.

"The evidence just built up to a point at which I realised the damage of people thinking we were something else was too great for the charity."

Peters said the research also uncovered problems with the charity’s previous name, so the decision was taken to again propose a change of name.

The charity does not yet have a logo for the proposed new name and has begun the process of consulting supporters on its proposal before making a final decision.

Bloodwise has appointed the design consultancy Pentagram to lead the rebrand, and is looking for a new "identifier" to replace the forget-me-not flower symbol the charity used before changing to Bloodwise.

The charity has 11 donors "with an understanding of the importance of branding and communication" who have donated £70,000 specifically for the rebrand, and will fundraise to get "a bit more" for the name, logo change and associated costs, Peters said.

"None of the money that people are collecting outside Sainsbury’s or getting from raffles is being spent on this," she added.

"That money will go, as it always has done, to the core work of the organisation."

The new name and logo, if backed by supporters, are expected to be launched in March.

The article originally said the previous rebrand took place in 2016

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