Action on Hearing Loss will change its name back to RNID after research found the old name was more popular than the new one.
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) rebranded as Action on Hearing Loss for its 100th anniversary in 2011, in order to better reflect the fact that it supports people with varying degrees of hearing loss.
However, brand research involving 6,000 people found that the old name was still more popular and more trusted, even after almost 10 years. People felt that “the current brand did not reflect the charity’s history or communicate the amazing work it did”.
The charity is currently focusing on the impact of the pandemic on deaf people, for example by raising awareness and campaigning on the barriers to communication caused by face coverings. This has “highlighted the need to be a strong brand”, according to the charity.
Its new strategy and brand purpose will be: “Together, we will make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.”
Keeping costs low
The rebrand has been 18 months in the making and was led by the in-house brand team with the support of an external brand consultant and of creative agency SomeOne in London for design.
Rebranding as Action on Hearing Loss cost the charity £260,000 in 2011, but this time costs were lower – £69,000, according to the charity. Action on Hearing Loss had an income of £39.5m in 2018-19.
A spokesperson for the organisation said it was “determined to carry out the brand review as cost-effectively as possible”. This was achieved through various cost-saving measures, including building the website and social media in-house, using the budget of the charity’s Christmas campaign to promote the new brand, and working with agencies offering reduced fees or pro-bono work.
The charity was founded in 1911 as The National Bureau for Promoting the General Welfare of the Deaf and changed its name to The National Institute for the Deaf in 1924. It later received a royal patronage, and in 1961 the Queen approved the addition of the word “Royal” to its name.
The new brand will launch on 2 November. The charity will retain The Royal National Institute for Deaf People as its legal name.
‘Making it clearer who we are for and why we exist’
Mark Atkinson, chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, said: “Returning to RNID and redefining our purpose is a critically important step in our journey to make life more inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss and tinnitus. RNID continues to be a well-known and much-loved charity and I am proud that we have the confidence to make bold and radical changes which are crucial to our ambition to grow our audience reach and impact.
“RNID will be a stronger voice for deaf awareness and invest in campaigning for change. We will connect people to the information and advice they need. And we will continue to fund new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.
“Our new purpose, name and identity is about making it clearer who we are for and why we exist. Because now, more than ever, it’s vital that people across society understand the challenges deaf people and those with hearing loss and tinnitus face.”