I have been working on a sizeable and highly satisfying brand development project with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The remit has been to align a really disparate collection of sub-branded service products, campaigns, programs and teams. The outcomes included raising profile and awareness of everything they do, promoting cross-service engagement, presenting a warmer image and ultimately helping good folks make better use of their offer.

By extension there would be no harm in taking a little of the due credit for the incredible range of support they offer the voluntary and not-for-profit sector, where many audience members didn’t even realise the services all belonged to the same organisation.

For example, they organise and present the largest voluntary sector annual conference in the UK, deliver the Scottish Charity Awards, publish TFN (the primary sector news publication), as well as the Goodmoves recruitment site, managed IT, payroll, training and facilities services. Central to all that they deliver policy work, act as a liaison to, and sometimes partner of the Scottish government on behalf of the sector. This year for example saw them deliver a £5million digital inclusion project, Connecting Scotland, and the Third Sector Coronavirus Info Hub – they do a lot of stuff.

As a membership organisation of some 2,000+ charities and organisations across the country, some of the challenges included speaking to ‘all’, being representative of the diversity of issues, and inclusive to all user requirements. This would impact the definition of core values and messaging, but also dictate the production of all digital products, assets and materials. Trust, inclusivity and social good were defined as brand pillars, and a very in-depth journey of internal and external discovery was taken before and during the development of our response to these. Consulting with members and service users (and service deliverers too of course) through: workshopping, feedback interviews, data analysis and testing on everything from overhauling digital information hierarchies and navigation to twitter cards and key messages, as well as regular check-ins up and down the ladder kept everyone motivated and on-board. The journey, stakeholder engagement and buy-in was (happily) a great success.

Another interesting parameter was to deliver an identity that was a comfortable fit and appropriate to their position in the sector. They are not a purely public-facing entity, the warmth had to be tempered with some gravitas and modesty. So it wasn’t an opportunity to go nuts with avant garde wizardry. A really satisfying subtext to this process was to help revive a more collaborative organisation, backing up significant internal restructuring and business development effort.