After nearly 100 years, St Dunstan's has launched a new brand and name change to Blind Veterans UK, with the help of civil society branding strategists Spencer du Bois.
"Our new name was chosen because it describes exactly what we do and who we help, ensuring our work is better recognised and understood," said the charity's director of fundraising, Andrew Jones.
Spencer du Bois was involved in modernising the brand, creating a visual brand strategy, logo, initial development of the website and writing the marketing campaign around the launch. Creative director John Spencer said the agency was brought into the task after a shortlist of four potential names, including retaining St Dunstan's, had been drawn up and helped make the final choice.
“Blind Veterans UK is a long-established charity with gravitas. Our research showed that the charity’s heritage is hugely important to its supporters, beneficiaries and the public. Blind Veterans UK needed a modern logo, visual brand and awareness campaign that captured the spirit of the Armed Forces and reflected their values; courageous, committed, collaborative and resourceful," he said.
The charity's challenges
The charity for veterans who have lost their sight was launched in 1915 to support soldiers of the First World War. It has continued its work supporting those who have lost their sight in battle, and in 2001 extended its service to support veterans who had lost their sight at any time. One of the challenges the charity had faced ahead of the rebrand was communicating this change to make potential beneficiaries aware of their service, said Spencer.
Another challenge, he said, has been the relatively low profile of the charity compared to other military charities: "St Dunstan's as an organisation has been around for almost 100 years but actually has a very, very low profile so one of the things that really drove this project was to create a better profile and a better understanding of what they do.
"Military charities have got a relatively high profile, I think this has partly been inspired by Help for Heroes. So one of the main issues was helping them (Blind Veterans UK) to establish their place in the military charity sector," he said.
A locally-focused campaign
The rebrand campaign includes a series of four posters and two radio adverts featuring beneficiaries of the charity telling the tales of how they lost their sight. The campaign was developed with a desire to target the local areas surrounding their three rehabilitation centres the charity works from in Brighton, Llandudno and Sheffield, and so the radio adverts will be heard on local radio stations from 27 February.
"The campaign, the launch is actually very locally focused. They are very well known and highly respected in those areas. So although they are a national charity, they made the decision to focus the campaign locally, simply because that was going to give them the best result in terms of profile," said Spencer.
The rebrand was launched separately at each of the centres, with those present treated to dramatic presentations. A bomb disposal robot revealed the charity's name in Sheffield; the Royal Marines abseiled down the charity's Brighton centre; and an RAF helicopter delivered a new flag to the Llandudno centre.
Royal Marines abseil down the Brighton rehabilitation centre to reveal the new Blind Veterans UK identity
*All images copyright of Blind Veterans UK