Crisis is an extraordinary charity helping people directly out of homelessness and campaigning for the social changes needed to solve it altogether.
I met Crisis in early 2016, as plans were building for their 50th anniversary. True to their pioneering spirit, their focus was not on celebrating their 50 years but rather using this time to focus further on how we might come together as a nation and end homelessness for good. With significant research being commissioned and emergent plans for 2017, they wanted a brand idea that could begin to create greater cohesion whilst not pushing full steam into a rebrand.
Focusing on developing a compelling idea that could sit across the brand and be played out across all their touchpoints, we immersed ourselves in Crisis to understand the potential brand implications of moving from where they are now to where they want to be. We met some great people, had some wonderful conversations and learnt a great deal. And whilst we went in search of a brand idea, we found ourselves returning to Crisis’ foundation, it’s purpose; to end homelessness.
Coming through from the stakeholder interviews, workshops and survey was a consistent sense that whilst people believed Crisis could help ‘end homelessness’ for individuals, it could not be ‘ended’ at a societal level. Without fundamental change - driven by reform, supported by an engaged commercial sector and underpinned by a mobilised public - there will always be another person falling through the gaps, finding themselves in crisis.
“I don’t believe it can end I mean, you know, it could be made better but then something political happens, usually, or economic, and it all gets a lot worse”
This mismatch in belief felt deeply important to resolve. To deliver on their brand promise, they needed the whole organisation aligned, believing in and fully living the purpose. We moved our energy further upstream to ‘solve at source’ and looked at how we might re-articulate or expand Crisis’ purpose to unlock its power. Tapping into Crisis’ expertise and insight, three key areas felt important to surface - areas that would anchor the purpose:
Moving the purpose on
These areas felt right and true and inseparable: it is their inter-relatedness that provides the power and resolve to end homelessness.
To face homelessness, to know it inside out, and
to bring together all that’s needed to end it.
With clarity of purpose, things moved quickly - from brand idea to an evolved look and feel. The Crisis teams were amazingly responsive and, together, we were able to ready the organisation for the launch of its 50th year in April 2017.
It was wonderful to help Crisis move their brand on so that it reflects the depth of the work they do, their reason for doing it and their ambition for the future - all underpinned by their belief that there is nothing inevitable about homelessness - that together we can end it.