On Tuesday RNID announced that they are to go through a £260,000 rebrand next June and will become known as Action on Hearing Loss.
The charity says that the change is to reflect that they work with people with differing levels of hearing loss, not deafness alone. Third Sector reported that: Jackie Ballard, its chief executive, said the new name “had more relevance and more reach”. She conceeded that some profoundly deaf people would be upset about losing the word ‘deaf’ from the name. (remember the trouble the Parkinsons UK had with its name change….did RNID consult its stakeholders I wonder?)
The name change, according to Jackie Ballard (again quoted in Third Sector) came about as a result of research on a new brand identity last year. This research showed that it was not as well known as other major charities, such as the NSPCC, Oxfam and the British Red Cross, and was frequently confused with other charities.
But when your research proposition is to look at a new brand identity, are you not going to come to those kinds of conclusions?
The charity will use the new name “Action on hearing loss” as a tagine until the re-brand. I just wonder would a tagline have been enough on its own to explain their new relevance?
I can think of lots of organisations, for profit and not for profit, that have names that dont necessarily immediately allow me to understand what they do. But they dont all rebrand. They choose other ways to tell people about what they do.
I do wish them the best of luck with this, don’t get me wrong, and I am all for charities spending money on communicating their message. I just wonder is a rebrand always the way to go?