How RNIB is seeing differently

Post date: 
Thursday, 11 October 2018
Image of Ryan McGrenaghan smiling

RNIB has a new look aimed at raising its profile and changing the way the public often perceives people with sight loss.

When Martin Wingfield, Head of Brand and Marketing at RNIB, joined two years ago, one of the first challenges identified was that the organisation needed to update its brand.
 
Fast forward two years and the moment has arrived – a new logo with a new strapline. The letters R, N, I, B, appearing black and bold, are slightly spaced out from each other, with a brightly coloured pink line underneath.
 
He says: “Lots of people told us that the [old] blue logo with the white text looked quite corporate and like an NHS brand, which is really something we weren’t happy with. So we have a new logo, which we have co-created with our blind and partially community, and a new tagline: ‘RNIB. See Differently’.”
 
These words replace the former strapline which read “Supporting people with sight loss”.

See differently

“See differently”, according to Wingfield, is an invitation for people to view sight loss from another perspective. He adds: “It’s a call to arms for the general public to see sight loss differently, to the community to see differently, about how we can work better together”.
 
And, it’s a motivating couple of words that will help individuals with sight loss see differently about what they can do to lead as full a life as possible.
 
He also hopes the changes will raise awareness among the general public and ultimately for the two million people with sight loss about RNIB and what they do.
 
The brand campaign launched last month with three films showing different scenarios of people with sight loss in everyday life. For example, there is a man in a shopping centre. An initial observer might think he’s having difficulty with the escalators because of his sight loss, but at the end of the film it is revealed that he’s desperately trying to avoid an ex‑girlfriend.
 
In another film there is a lady grating a carrot. She suddenly grates her finger. However, the accident is not due to her sight loss, but because she’s spotted an attractive man on television.
 
Poster, digital and newspaper campaigns have also been launched and follow the same vein.
 
“Overall, there is one clear message that this campaign wants to promote – see the person, not the person with sight loss. In other words: see differently.”

Confusion among charities

The aim of the new advertising campaign is to help the general public recognise RNIB and understand what it does. In the past, many people have confused it with the lifeboat charity RNLI or even bird charity RSPB.
 
“People have historically confused us with other charities with similar four-letter acronyms beginning with R. And that’s one of the general missions, just to raise awareness that RNIB is an organisation that’s about sight loss”, he says.
 
Discussions were even had about a potential change of name, but this was ruled out early on.
 
Wingfield adds: “The reality is there’s an awful lot of benefit in being called the Royal National Institute of Blind People. People trust us, we have 150 years worth of history and it’s important to recognise the Royal Charter”.
 
Wingfield stated that all charities invest a huge amount of money and cites others that spend a great deal more (up to 10 times) than RNIB does on marketing itself. “We know from detailed research that investing in the brand actually leads to greater income for the organisation,” he says.
 
The overarching aim of this campaign and its messaging is to show people what RNIB stands for: to change society, mobilise communities and equip individuals with sight loss with helpful advice and tools.
 
This year marks our 150th anniversary, so we’ve been undergoing a lot of reflection. But we have also been really thinking about what we want to stand for, for the next 150 years and how we can continue in our cause to help more people with sight loss. 
 

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2018 edition of Connect Magazine.

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