Case study: NCT

The parenting charity has opted for a fresh look that builds on its heritage. What does our expert think?

Parenting charity the National Childbirth Trust shortened its name to NCT and created a new logo in order to appeal to a wider audience and communicate its message more accurately. Its previous logo had not been changed since the charity was established in 1956.

The approach

The charity decided its name did not reflect its work: it supports parents from conception until their children are toddlers, so the word 'childbirth' was inappropriate. It also felt the word 'trust' suggested incorrectly that it was a grant-giving body. But it wanted to maintain a link with its heritage, so it opted to use its initials rather than create a new name.

"Research showed our old image was very 1950s and made us look religious, middle class and stuffy," says Belinda Phipps, chief executive of NCT. "We needed to appeal to a wider range of people, especially under-25s, so we had to change. But it felt like a very dramatic shift, because our old logo had been around for so long."

The proposals

The new logo, designed by agency Philosophy, is intended to convey the idea of movement and reflect the transition to parenthood. The charity chose to change its logo colour from blue to green to make it stand out among brands alongside which it would be positioned, such as the NHS.

NCT spent £30,000 on developing the new brand, a process that included talking to stakeholders, such as the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, about what they thought the charity did and how it should communicate.

The effect

The charity says visits to the NCT website rose significantly after the rebrand, with visitors staying on average more than 50 per cent longer than before. But it has not carried out any tracking work on how widely recognised the new logo is. "Evaluating rebrands costs a lot of money; we decided it was better to spend that money on service provision," says Phipps. She says a lot of the charity's work is through contracts with local authorities, primary care trusts and NHS trusts and the new logo helps them to understand how it operates.

Kaye Wiggins

EXPERT VIEW - Simon Myers, Director, Figtree

The National Childbirth Trust has long been referred to as 'NCT', so it is good to see the rebrand pushing these well-known initials to the fore.

But given that the primary aim of the charity was to raise awareness and understanding of the organisation's role in British life, it seems odd to have chosen an abstract logo that does not really explain what the charity does.

The design might be more modern and inclusive, with its lime green and sans-serif font, but it is also employs a generic 'people' device of which there is far too much in the charity sector.

The strapline, "Helping you to become the parent you want to be", is quite a mouthful, and while it seems that NCT wants to move away from being associated with childbirth and into a more general parenting role, it is not clear how this rebrand propels it down that strategic track.


Creativity: 1

Delivery: 2

Total: 3 out of 10

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