WORKSHOP: CASE STUDY - Foyer rebrand reflects younger image


Project: Foyer Federation rebranding

Agency: Roger Liley Design

Background: The Foyer Federation in the UK provides education, training and accommodation for 5,000 disadvantaged people aged between 16 and 25.

The charity has a network of 115 centres, which it plans to double over the next three years. But while it enjoys high-brand awareness among central government and local organisations supporting disadvantaged and homeless young people, its profile among the public is relatively low.

To mark the charity's tenth anniversary in the UK and to build awareness, it opted to overhaul the brand in order to reflect a more "youthful


Aim of the campaign: The brand revamp was designed to position Foyer as the leading organisation for providing accommodation that integrates education and training opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

The rebranding is also intended to align the charity with major companies in the City that don't at present have a corporate social responsibility framework, as well as boost funds and awareness. In particular, it wanted the new image to complement regular donor Levi's, and other successful youth brands such as Vodafone and Egg.

How it worked: Early last year, the charity set up focus groups in the the UK comprising young Foyer residents, managers, training staff and council representatives.

The process was used to draw out individual views on how the Foyer movement differed from other homelessness charities such as Crisis and Centrepoint.

The groups looked at a range of potential brand positioning statements including: "Foyer enables homeless young people to recognise their full potential while gaining confidence, education and skills needed to change their lives."

In response to this statement, the young residents objected to the term "homeless", which they believed implied that they had been living on the streets.

The residents realised that Foyer provided them with not only accommodation but the support they need to get a job - unlike Crisis and Centrepoint which just offer emergency housing.

It also became apparent that the younger residents did not like describing Foyer as a "hostel

or "safe haven". Many referred to the centres as their home.

The next stage of the review was to get Foyer residents to interpret the organisation's personality through illustrations, which were then handed to Roger Liley Design to develop a "living logo".

Results: A new logo has been introduced that will reflect the charity's changing identity from a homelessness organisation to a support network for young people.

The logo will change every three months to reflect the type of people that use Foyer, including a young person in a wheelchair, a single father and a person from an ethnic minority.

From the focus groups, a new mission statement has been born: "All young people need a home, support and a springboard into independent living, learning and work. Some don't get it. Foyer fills the gap."

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