Branding News: British Red Cross to emphasise UK role

The British Red Cross is overhauling its brand identity and positioning as it steps up efforts to remind the British public of the work it does in the UK.

The charity has hired Interbrand to develop a clearer public positioning of its humanitarian work, and is embarking on a communications strategy entitled 'Across the world and around the corner'.

The overhaul follows concerns that the UK public views the organisation as too heavily focused on overseas work, such as its assistance in the tsunami relief effort in South East Asia. The activity will place a greater focus on the charity work carried out by the British Red Cross at home, in areas such as emergency response and first aid.

The British Red Cross hopes the rebrand will result in people feeling an increased affinity with the brand.

The revised logo will retain the classic Red Cross image but is intended to create a clearer, more consistent look. The charity is also developing guidelines to be deployed internally on what it provides and where it sits in the charity sector.

Interbrand's work will be supported by the British Red Cross's appointment of its first advertising agency. The charity is holding a pitch between Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest and DFGW, with a result expected later this month.

A spokesman said the new advertising would enable the charity to broaden communication channels and take its marketing to 'another level'.

Separately, the Red Cross is investigating alternative emblems to the cross icon, to be used in countries such as Israel and Eritrea, where the public may feel the use of the cross is unsuitable. Neutral logos, such as a red diamond, are being discussed although the charity stressed that any decision about altering the symbol will have to be taken by the world's governments.

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