Welcome to the second and final part of my two-part blog.
If you’re reading this and you haven’t read part 1, I encourage you to cast your eyes over it here, then come back when you’re up to speed on the background on our strategic approach to supporting the Young Dementia Network… All ready? Then let’s begin.
Following the creative workshop we held with YoungDementia UK, we assimilated all the materials and gained consensus on what we heard, the key themes and direction we should take, and got to work on creating a brand that would do the Young Dementia Network justice.
We wanted to provide the team with a document that went beyond the logo. Given that the Young Dementia Network has brought together lots of individuals and groups, and will continue to do so, we knew the brand must tell a story. It must also bring to life the values of its members and the proposition the Network delivers. In essence, it must “sell” the Network.
One aspect that we really wanted to ensure was central to the brand was its personality. This is effectively the human characteristics that are attributed to a brand, and was really quite simple given that we’d had the opportunity to hear them talk so passionately about their work and their objectives. Some qualities include “pragmatic and living in the real world”, “open and honest”, and “warm and welcoming”. Indeed the brand book states “There is always an opportunity to simply be nice; just to be kind. Everyone loves a hug and we want anyone and everyone to feel comfortable with us”. It’s a really strong personality and I’m confident it will be lived every day through the great team at YoungDementia UK and its Network.
Another key part to creating any brand is defining the audiences who will come into contact with it. For the Network these audiences will be wide-ranging, from individuals living with young onset dementia, through to carers, healthcare professionals and members of the general public. Each of these audiences have different drivers, challenges and needs from the Network, so we made sure these were explicit in the brand story to ensure everything we developed had the needs of these groups at the heart of the brand.
Let’s start with the words
Now that the proposition, personality and audiences were clearly defined, we could move to the execution. We started with the verbal brand identity. What language should be used? What is our voice? These elements are hugely important and together work in harmony to communicate the brand’s ethos. Look at any brand worth its salt and you’ll see a clear voice used consistently across content – a voice that reflects the company’s values. Be that tongue-in-cheek and playful (eg Innocent Smoothies) or friendly confidence (e.g. Apple) – many brands can be identified from their messaging alone. One thing we quickly realized with this brand was the fine balance between empathy, positivity and determination and the importance of conveying these emotions appropriately when creating messaging for the Network. We created “do and don’ts” to help those tasked with creating Network content to strike the right balance.
Next up – the Network’s name. The team had been using “National Young Onset Dementia Network” as a working title, and it quickly became clear to us that there was a reason for this – because it worked! It said exactly what the Network was and removed any ambiguity for newcomers to the Network. So, in perhaps the least imaginative rename of all time, we named the Network the ‘Young Dementia Network’, a bit less of a mouthful and perfectly literal – spot on!
Show me the logo already!
So without further ado, here it is…
The logo is all about conversation. The dots and speech bubble motif highlight the Network’s desire to engage, to talk, to listen and to ensure young onset dementia is at the forefront of people’s thoughts. A clear, modern font is used to maximize the simplicity of the execution and finally a colour palette that encapsulates the confidence, focus and dynamism of the Network. Once these elements were in place we made sure the logo was versatile and could be separated from the title if appropriate, as well as being impactful in monotone.
The logo is the result of extensive collaboration with the YoungDementia UK team. At each stage the team helped to shape and direct our initial directions into what you see here. The team also had feedback and buy-in from all of the initial workshop attendees, which was fantastic and really helped to ensure this was a brand everyone would get behind. Huge thanks to the YoungDementia UK team for that!
The Network and its brand was officially launched at the Young Onset Dementia: Different Impact, Positive Solutions conference on 27 September 2016 which was attended by more than 230 people. The conference presented a combination of personal experiences, practical solutions and national initiatives designed to improve the lives of people with young onset dementia. Sarah Plummer, National Development Manager, YoungDementia UK, officially launched the Network and said this of the event,
“We’re excited to have launched the Network at the largest young onset dementia conference of the year. We’ve had a great response so far and already Network members are telling us they want to be a part of this movement so they can improve services for younger people with dementia and connect with others. We’re looking forward to a very busy 2017 as we get the Network activity underway.”
The Network is now fully engaged with encouraging improved young onset dementia services across the UK, influencing and informing national and local policies. A key enabler of this will be collaboration, and the Network is committed to providing opportunities for members to share experiences and knowledge, and to learn from each other.
We are hugely proud to have supported the Network’s launch and deliver a brand that has given the team early momentum as well as a bedrock to ensure their communication remains consistent as the Network grows. From a personal perspective, I’ve been energized by the amazing dynamism and dedication of the YoungDementia UK team, and at the same time humbled by the stories of those who are affected by the condition.
As I said at the outset of this journey, it’s so important that we as an industry continue to remember why we do what we do, and supporting amazing charities like YoungDementia UK serves as a great reminder.
How to join the Young Dementia Network