by Client: The Children's Society

Northstar’s work for The Children’s Society has given the charity a platform on which to communicate its new brand strategy to a diverse and loyal supporter base.

The Brief

In September 2014, The Children’s Society rebranded. After more than a decade in circulation, the charity’s branding had become tired, but more significantly, it no longer reflected the charity’s goals and ambitions. To grow awareness and raise its profile in the UK, as well as to increase its activities, the charity had adopted a new strategy. It was now seeking to demonstrate the hard truths of child poverty, and to show the positive impact the charity was having on disadvantaged children and young people. Northstar was briefed to interpret these new brand guidelines and to communicate the charity’s new strategy through a supporter fundraising magazine, an impact report and an annual report.

The Challenge

Because of natural sensitivity among its supporter base towards investing in brand, the first part of the magazine brief was to gently but enthusiastically introduce supporters to the new brand, and to encourage them of its benefits. Longer term, a magazine for The Children’s Society would stand or fall based on its effectiveness and performance against a demanding set of KPIs. Chief among these would be its capacity to motivate donations from reader-supporters. Ultimately, the objective of the collateral generated for The Children’s Society would be to make a measurable contribution towards achieving the charity’s vision to create a country where children are free from disadvantage.

Creative Approach

We were encouraged from the outset by the value placed on storytelling by The Children’s Society. We passionately believe in the power of great storytelling and its effectiveness in engaging customers and supporters in a brand, and in prompting a meaningful response. Voice magazine is therefore full of emotive stories that bring home the hard truths of child poverty. We also believe that a supporter magazine must thank its readers and show them how their money is spent, which played a significant role in shaping the magazine’s flatplan. To maximise the content’s effectiveness, we felt it needed to be real, so we worked with the charity to find case studies we could photograph and interview. The stories we heard were extraordinary and helped us generate an empathetic tone of voice that drew supporters into the charity’s narrative. Based on the success of this approach and the quality and brand-relevance of the assets we generated for Voice, the charity appointed Northstar to produce its Impact Report and Annual Report, repurposing original content from the magazine in both print and online. The digital version of the Impact Report was produced in Parallax, a dynamic tool that helped us transpose the content from print to web while retaining the same brand feel and essence.