Something's changing

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Antonio Cappelletti, our Director of Digital Engagement and Communications, talks about why we've refreshed and what it means for our future

A few things are changing around here. But it's not our values!

Socrates is widely accepted as saying "the secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new" and one thing we've never been scared of at The Brain Tumour Charity is change.

As a charity, we've undergone rapid expansion in the past few years, following the merger of Brain Tumour UK, Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust and the Joseph Foote Trust. Our work is inspired by Samantha and Joseph, who sadly lost their lives to a brain tumour, and every person who has been affected.

Since the merger The Brain Tumour Charity has grown and we have doubled our income. This has allowed us - among other things - to commit more than £20 million towards research since 2015, more than doubled the basic standard of care for all brain tumour patients and cut diagnosis times for children to just 6.5 weeks through our HeadSmart campaign.

Making an even greater impact

And we want to do so much more. We want to accelerate a change in everything we do and we want to engage an even wider community.

But as we reach more people, we know it becomes more difficult to be heard and for our messages and work to have that impact. In late 2017, we decided to carry out research in consultation with our community and discovered the following:

  • Our red and teal colours are bold and unique
  • Our name is clear
  • Our strategy is strong

BUT…! Our community also told us that the way we communicate what we do, how we do it and the impact we're having wasn't strong or clear enough. Without this impact, we know we can't accelerate change and beat brain tumours sooner.

We're still the same charity

Our community are going to see a change in the way The Brain Tumour Charity talks about itself. We want to stress the pace at which we need to work in order to achieve our goals. You'll also see a different look and feel.

We've also updated our tagline to "A cure can't wait", because this drives us on to do everything we can for those living with the disease.

However, what isn't changing is who we are. We have the same name. Red and teal are still our colours. We still have the same goals of doubling survival and halving the harm, and we have the same commitment to investing in research.

We still aim to spend 80p of every £1 spent on our charitable objectives. Our fundraisers go to huge efforts to raise vital funds and for that we're truly grateful. So we're very careful how we spend those funds. This will never change!

Why have we changed the logo?

Our updated logo is a strong, confident representation of our identity - the most commonly-seen mark of who we are and what we stand for. It will build recognition of the charity and help us communicate our message more effectively.

The exclamation mark is an arresting and powerful mark, it builds on our strategy to reflect the urgency and importance of our cause, acting as a visual shorthand for everything we do.

We can't compromise on success

Our new brand promise - accelerate change - also demonstrates that same urgency and will help us reach more people than ever before. This will enable us to raise more awareness, fund more research and support more people affected by brain tumours. Now is not the time to hold back! A cure can't wait.

But a brand refresh is complex. Trying to do it all ourselves would have meant compromising on the work we do every day to help our community and raise the money we need to invest in research.

We didn't want to make that compromise. This was a job worth doing, so it was worth doing right.

We carried out a thorough process before choosing a small, London-based branding agency called The Clearing, to help us ensure our refreshed brand will make a difference.

The Clearing came highly recommended and provided their services to us at a reduced rate. They were instrumental throughout this year long process, helping us find a look and feel that raises awareness and, most importantly, works for our community.

The Clearing reminded us that we need to link who we are and what we believe in, with how we look and sound. This then connects us better with the people that matter and helps us to advance support to those who need it most in the best way possible.

Our supporters are at the heart of everything we do

We worked closely with our community throughout the process and involved over 160 patients, carers and their families as well as our team at The Charity.

An example of feedback that has shaped our refresh came from a supporter affected by a brain tumour who said, “This is an exclamation mark that stands for the need to change the statistics of people affected and money injected, the need to stand up and fight the cancer, and the need to stand united." We couldn't have put it better ourselves!

But it's not all changing overnight

We are committed to accelerate change and believe our refreshed brand is the way to do this. However, we aren't the kind to rush into anything.

We'll be updating our resources and materials in phases to ensure we waste as little as possible, using up our old stock to ensure our funds are used effectively.

Accelerate change

Brain tumours remain a big issue, 31 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour every day. Yet changes in survival rates have barely improved in 40 years compared with other cancers, investment in research is low and diagnosis is still taking much too long. This has to change.

We need to work hard to ensure we get support from the public, to increase their awareness of the disease and increase their propensity to give their time and money to support The Brain Tumour Charity's work; this new promise will enable us to broaden our appeal.

If you have any questions about our refreshed brand or how to request new stock, please email comms@thebraintumourcharity.org.

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