Brand adds credibility to woodland charity
Services: branding / visual identity / web design / graphic design
The Small Woods Association is the national organisation for small woodland owners, workers and supporters. The organisation champions sustainable management of woodlands.
We were originally asked to redesign the Small Woods website. However, by asking pertinent questions, it quickly became apparent to us that wider communications issues needed to be addressed. Staff and trustees were not able to answer consistently or confidently ‘who are you’, ‘what do you do’ and ‘why does it matter?’. One trustee was even using the old name of the organisation, which was six years out of date. There was also no visual identity (other than a logo). We placed the organisation’s print materials on a table and they looked like they were from different organisations.
We discussed with the client the need to define their brand and create a distinctive visual identity, before considering the website. They saw the value in this and agreed.
Brand and identity
Working closely with the Chief Executive we took the organisation through our branding process: researching the organisation, its audiences and competitors. From this we defined the organisation’s aims, core message and strapline. We were then able to create a visual identity expressing and reflecting the brand. The identity consists of a logo, colour palette, typeface, a graphic device and paper stock. We presented the work to staff and trustees, gaining their support.
The brand and identity formed the foundations for all subsequent work.
We worked closely with the client to plan the new website’s structure and content – largely informed by the organisation’s four aims. Using the visual identity we designed the page layouts and look and feel of the site. The site was then built by our web developer associate using a content management system, allowing the client to update content themselves.
We have recently made the site responsive, ensuring it can be used on mobiles, tablets and desktop computers.
The client was delighted by the rebrand, identity and website and for a number of years we have created all their print materials, including letterhead, business cards, general leaflets, membership recruitment leaflets, information sheets and course marketing flyers.
Small Woods now looks professional and credible. It has a distinctive and recognisable brand identity and is communicating a consistent message. Importantly, staff are proud to be associated with the website and materials.
Membership income has increased year on year and is now around 20% higher than before the rebrand. Given the economic hardship of recent years and that there was no additional marketing spend, this is largely down to the well-defined brand and professional-looking materials improving the perception of the organisation.
Small Woods’ influence is gaining. It is increasingly being invited to meetings and to consult on policy by government and the big players in the woodland sector. We think this is again down to the improved perception of the organisation as a result of our work.
Small Woods website
“The branding process has really changed our organisation. Advocate’s analysis and determination has helped to clarify our thinking on what we do and how we do it.”
Jude Walker, Director