You may have seen some speculation regarding the Trust’s branding, and this is to confirm that we will be launching our new, revitalised brand on 22 May.
After five years in which we have successfully established the Trust, we are looking ahead to the wider, significant role we can play in enriching lives. We have an amazing legacy, with 8 million people across the country living with one of our waterways on their doorstep, in both urban and rural areas, so we can make life better for millions by encouraging people to use and enjoy them, to improve their health and wellbeing and get involved in helping us to care for them.
We haven’t made that breakthrough yet; right now, we know that only around a third of the general public know about the Trust, way below other national charities. This means that a large proportion of the millions of people who live around us, and may even use their local waterways or towpaths, do not know who we are or that we need their support. It is essential that we change this if we are to secure our long-term future.
The new look for the Trust has been developed to appeal to those who don’t currently know about us, whilst still connecting with our existing users and supporters. Whilst we want to have impact, with changes happening instantly across digital and social media, we are also doing everything we can to keep costs to a minimum. This means that our new look will be rolled out gradually over 2-3 years, as and when things need replacing, so the majority of costs would be part of our normal on-going spend. Very little has been spent on developing our new branding, and it has been paid for through our existing marketing budget. Our work to care for the waterways themselves continues to increase.
The brand re-launch will be key to securing the waterways’ long term future; the Trust has to connect with, and build support amongst, a much larger and broader group of people than know about us now. The re-launch is critical to achieving this boost in awareness and support over the long term so that, many years from now, we have the resources to enable us to care for the waterways as effectively as we can today.
That is why investing time and effort in re-positioning the Trust, and revitalising our brand, will give us a significant return, many times over, in the future.