National charity The Reader, which has spent more than 20 years bringing people together and books to life, commissioned Kaleidoscope to refresh and redefine its brand as it prepared to re-open its headquarters in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park following a £5m refurbishment.
The Reader believes that literature is a tool for helping us to survive and live well.
Radical and dynamic
The visual identity was developed to communicate the warmth and connection of the ‘reading revolution’ at the heart of The Reader’s work.
It aims to communicate all aspects of The Reader’s brand to reflect who they are today – a warm, radical and dynamic organisation that has literature and people at its heart.
The updated identity includes a refined version of The Reader’s previous organisational logo that will help the charity to attract a more age-diverse audience as it looks to scale its reading revolution. The simplified design has been chosen to work better across digital platforms.
We also created a family of sub-brands for the visitor experiences on offer at The Reader at Calderstones. These range from The Reader Storybarn, an imaginative playspace dedicated to the delights of reading for pleasure in families, to The Reader’s social enterprises, including the Café and Ice Cream Parlour, which generate revenues to support the charity’s work with communities.
The identity was developed in a pragmatic fashion, using practical working sessions with senior leaders from The Reader to define a clear brand hierarchy and strategy, ahead of developing visual approaches and brand guidelines in a timeframe of just eight weeks.
Why it matters
The Reader believes that the unique power of literature has the potential to connect individuals, help us feel better and to rebuild lost social bonds.
It brings people together and books to life in order to make warmer, healthier, stronger communities.
This was a wonderful project to be involved with an organisation that has incredible ambitions to grow its social impact and deliver lasting impact to the communities it serves and the wider health and well-being sector.
In the health sector, it’s essential to create meaningful connections with patients and service users. So if you’re wondering how your brand can help you do that, keep reading.
At Kaleidoscope, we work with a variety of sectors, including health. From crafting communications campaigns to building unforgettabke brand messaging and activation. That’s why we feel we’re well positioned to share some advice when it comes to curating a strong and effective brand got the health sector.
Why your brand matters in healthcare
A brand isn’t just about making money; it’s about creating an impact – the right kind of impact. And in the health sector, where a brand can define a patient experience through everything from signage and uniforms to appointment reminders and patient portals — there’s no sector more important when it comes to creating a brand that understands its audience.
You need to build trust and credibility amongst patients at every turn, and to do this, you need a brand that’s easy to connect with, identify with, and, most importantly, a brand you can recognise.
So here are three key things your health brand should zero in on.
1. Focus on co-creation
It’s important you work alongside stakeholders to map out what the brand should stand for — stakeholders could be anyone from patients, service users, health professionals or regulators.
Give stakeholders the opportunity to collaboratively design a narrative and identity that is robust and evidence-based. Nothing is guessed or assumed. Instead, you’re gaining multiple perspectives from the people who matter most.
2. Establish a trusted brand with partnerships
When it comes to making a decision, whether a professional, patient or commissioner, this decision isn’t determined by just one person or one organisation alone. There are many different touchpoints, all of which play an important part in the process. The health sector is a complex one, and all these different players have value; that’s why building effective partnerships are vital to the success of your brand.
You want a trustworthy brand that has the reach and impact necessary to be successful — and partnerships are what help you achieve that.
3. Make your brand flexible
Regardless of sector, your brand needs to be flexible to change, but in a healthcare setting in particular — an industry characterised by change — your brand needs agility at its heart. Whether it’s changing systems, processes or regulations, your brand has to be ready to move quickly when opportunities arise, ensuring it remains relevant.
To achieve this, your brand has to be underpinned by a clear and comprehensive brand narrative, which provides the spine for your brand to work from.
Before you go
Making any changes to your brand, regardless of how insignificant it might seem, can impact the way your brand is perceived.
We’re experts in communication and all things branding. And just over the last few years, we’ve helped many healthcare brands reinforce their trustability through carefully crafted communications. Let us help you too — get in touch.
At Kaleidoscope, we’re all about open, honest and clear communication. So what better way to show you how we operate than through interviews with team members? You want to know who’s working on your campaigns, and we figured this would be a pretty easy way to show you.
Graciously, Andy Malone, our Digital Director, has put himself forward for the first interview! Learn more about Andy and what matters to him below.
So, how long have you been at Kaleidoscope?
I joined the team as Digital Director five years ago. I was brought in to build the digital offering up — starting from scratch; we’ve built up to a team of four now.
I’ll rewind a bit to give you an idea of how I ended up here. During my Computer Science degree, I worked as a freelance web developer. After graduating, I had a pretty strong portfolio, so I decided to lean into it while I considered what my career was going to be, but I never looked back. I started solo as a freelancer, then took on some longer-term contracts, and spent some time as part of in-house teams until settling into full-time agency life, moving from mid-weight developer up to a Head of Digital role in my last agency. It was here I met our current MD, James, and we shared a common love of working on innovative projects that deliver good.
So a few years later, when the opportunity arose to help James and the Kaleidoscope team kick off their digital offering, I couldn’t wait to get started.
Tell us a bit about your job in a nutshell…
As Digital Director, my primary role is to run Kaleidoscope’s digital services and the team that delivers them. I also act as the senior project director for websites, apps, email and social campaigns — basically, anything online or on devices is my territory.
Bethany, our digital project manager, oversees projects day-to-day (and is much better at it than me), but when it comes to strategy, planning and scoping out tech solutions, that’s where I thrive. I also love that for some projects I can still get stuck in and dust off my coding skills!
When it comes to the digital side of the business, what matters most to you?
As a business, our proposition is “communications that matter”, which means working on projects that matter to the wider community and us. So it’s vital that our digital offering reflects that proposition, too.
With that in mind, for me, inclusion and accessibility are two things that matter massively to me. That means building websites, apps and tools that are easy for everyone to use, regardless of their level of understanding or background — from considered UI/UX to mobile performance, keyboard navigation to adhering to accessibility best practices. It all matters when building effective digital communications.
My favourite thing about this job is that you can go beyond just communicating well with digital transformation. Although it’s essential to build traditional campaigns with bus adverts and posters, digital adds another layer of opportunity to campaigns. It gives people something to interact with and can help change people’s lives more directly.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on at Kaleidoscope?
A few projects spring to mind here, all for very different reasons. My first is Dyslexia Scotland, partly because I’m working on it at the moment. Their website is their hub for content, resources and membership and needed to be refreshed. As part of that, we are really focusing on optimising the design for the primary audience, which means pushing our design capabilities in terms of accessibility and testing it rigorously with the end-user group we are collaborating with.
Another project which I’m very proud to have worked on is the Happy Hearts Blood Pressure Tool. This tool was part of a wider blood pressure campaign for the region and allows people to have meaningful conversations with a healthcare provider, using an engaging and simple interface to give them a personalised experience. The tool helps drive meaningful conversations that could change their lives.
Another smaller project that I really enjoyed working on was with the University of Liverpool Career Studio, which was exciting because it meant getting into some pretty new tech and was a fusion of both print and online. We produced marketing materials and brochures for the studio, but alongside this, we also did all the environmental branding and, as part of that, created wall vinyls that included digital marker codes, which enabled users to view an augmented reality experience on their phones while in the space. The experience was fully content managed, so the team could maintain it, and also showed the user personalised career advice based on some simple options such as their preferred industry.
Communication is no doubt at the heart of what we do here at Kaleidoscope, but driving real change through a mixture of traditional and digital communication is what fuels us to deliver exceptional campaigns. Learn more about our services.
Liverpool University Hospitals
Campaigns, Design, Strategy and planning
We worked with one of the largest acute trusts in the country, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to develop a new brand to enable it to bring its vision, values and future ambition to life.
With multiple sites, a range of legacy brands and an emerging new strategic direction this was a wonderful challenge to develop a robust brand for a significant new organisation.
Our future together
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) was formed through a merger of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust.
As a new organisation, it became one of the largest acute trusts in the country and one of the biggest employers in the region with an annual budget of £930 million. Unlike many other NHS mergers, the merger was driven by the clinical staff, who made the case for bringing the two organisations together in order to improve patient care.
We were commissioned by LUHFT to establish a clear brand framework for how it communicates its vision, values and strategic objectives in a way that is meaningful to all stakeholders.
Using an evidence-based approach we initially carried out a wide range of engagement with LUHFTs diverse stakeholders from patients, staff and senior management through to partners, regulators and Board members. This was used as a foundation that informed a written brand narrative, positioning and tone of voice that:
Communicates what LUHFT stands for
Reflects its vision and values
Is distinctive, yet authentic
Provides a mechanism to engage staff and instil a sense of pride so that they become brand ambassadors
Becomes something that the local community can believe in, be proud of and engage with.
With the written brand story in place we then moved on to consider the visual expression of the brand; developing a unique look and feel, brand architecture and a comprehensive set of brand guidelines to inform how the brand should be brought to life across the organisation’s many touchpoints.
Following a period of robust testing of all aspects of the new brand amongst key stakeholder groups, it was approved for roll-out and we worked with LUFHT to deliver a range of priority communications initiatives including the roll-out of the new organisational values and strategic reports; alongside collateral to embed the new brand across video, screensavers, email, posters, infographics and more.
Why it matters
LUHFT is an anchor institution for the Liverpool City Region. It has a huge role to play in the future health and prosperity of our region, so it was vital to deliver a brand that connected with the region and the future ambition of the organisation to facilitate its growing impact.
This was a fantastic project to work on with a flagship organisation in our region. The close collaboration with multiple stakeholders throughout from initial research through to testing and implementation allowed us to develop a brand that was authentic to LUHFT and its future.
Building a brand
Design, Strategy and planning
We worked with Bethell to develop a new brand identity to support its ambitious growth plans in the construction and utilities sectors.
Key to this brief was the need to deliver a solution that was practical as well as creatively engaging through fully understanding how the brand would be implemented by the client across its many sites and operations.
A brand for expansion
Bethell Group is one of the UK’s leading privately-owned integrated construction and utility services companies. We were commissioned to review and develop a new brand identity for the organisation as it embarked on an ambitious expansion plan.
A collaborative creative development process, involving workshops with Bethell’s senior leadership, enabled us to identify the core requirements for a new brand that would support the future business.
We then developed a range of creative options for a new core mark and wider visual language that would not only represent the organisation effectively but critically work across a diverse range of touchpoints for an organisation that has employees across offices, in transit and on site across the country.
The final solution provides clarity on the new Bethell proposition, clearly defining its portfolio across two service areas (civils and utilities), with a visual language that provides flexibility for the utilities service to deliver targeted communications to its specific market.
Why it matters
Bethell are moving into an ambitious period of growth and recognised that a clear and strong brand identity was crucial to their aspirations as the organisation expands into new areas – providing a strong foundation to engage new clients and attract new employees.
Organisations like Bethell are critical to the flow of our society, putting in place the roads, networks and infrastructure that we need to live, work and play.
Campaigns, Design, Strategy and planning, Video and animation
We worked with Riverside to develop a campaign to lead the roll-out of its refreshed customer portal, My Riverside.
Key to the brief was a need to deliver a concept that cut through wider customer communications
Making life easier
Riverside have redeveloped their customer portal, My Riverside, and commissioned Kaleidoscope to develop a new campaign to spearhead the launch and drive customer engagement with it.
My Riverside is a digital platform that enables Riverside customers the ability to easily manage their home through reporting repairs, checking accounts and making payments online.
Our initial role was to establish a distinctive creative concept that would set My Riverside apart from wider Riverside communications.
The platform had already been launched previously but did not achieve the required engagement, so this concept had to stand out and demonstrate that the platform was something to take notice of.
The concept used customer insight which highlighted the primary perceived benefit of the platform to be speed and ease of use.
We therefore built on this and brought it to life using a blend of copy lines and abstract photography, alongside a bright and vibrant colour palette, to articulate how My Riverside was quick and easy to use, and that customers could use the time they saved to do things they really wanted to do.
This was supported by a consistent logo device which reinforced the convenience of the platform and how it could be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device.
The campaign was launched in a targeted way across Riverside’s customers using multiple print and digital channels, with different content being delivered to a range of customers segments to reflect the differing levels of service’s available in regions and variations in customer engagement with digital tools.
Why it matters
Managing a home can be complex and time consuming, and for many of us can seem overwhelming at times. The My Riverside platform aims to help make this simpler and easier and enable its customers to get on with the things that are really important to them.
Using customer insight to inform our creative direction was vital to the effectiveness of this concept – it provided absolute clarity on what was really important to Riverside’s customers.
Shaped around you
Design, Strategy and planning
We worked with Alpha to establish a fresh, new identity that would support its future strategic direction and ambitions.
Alpha is a long-standing housing association that has dedicated its life to housing and providing sensitive services for older people.
Shaping a vibrant future
Alpha is a long-standing housing association that has dedicated its life to housing and providing sensitive services for older people. It has more than 860 apartments in 11 local authorities across the North of England.
Against a backdrop of over 50 years of heritage, the organisation wanted to establish a fresh, new identity that would support its future strategic direction and ambitions. We were commissioned to work with Alpha and develop the identity, working closely with the senior management team, employees and residents from the outset.
Through an initial process of creative development, we explored a number of different themes for the identity to embrace, ranging from growth and vitality, through to care and happiness. This allowed us to identify the zones that truly aligned with the future direction of the business and start to consider how they could be brought to life across a core mark, positioning line and visual language.
A number of collaborative working sessions with the various Alpha stakeholders were then used to gauge feedback on the emerging creative proposals and identify key refinements that would ensure the identity resonated with residents and employees alike.
The final solution is built on the brand platform ‘shaped around you’, which reflects how Alpha provides its residents the opportunity to tailor their home, social and community life to their own preferences and live in an independent way. This is supported by a visual device that is comprised of triangles, which form the letter ‘A’ and use a range of vibrant colours, indicative of the diversity of opportunities on offer and the positive outlook that Alpha provides.
Why it matters
Alpha plays a crucial role in the lives of many communities across the North of the country through providing high quality housing and services to older people which provide a platform for their residents to live happy and independent lives.
Close collaboration with Alpha’s senior team and resident representatives gave us the perfect blend of strategic and customer insight to develop an identity that supports the organisation’s future ambition.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) is the combined authority of the Liverpool City Region.
Why LCRCA matters to us?
LCRCA works together to make investments in areas that have a real impact on our communities across issues such as transport, digital, energy and environment, skills and culture much more.
There’s some confusion over the terms ‘creative strategy’ and ‘brand strategy’, and we’ve heard many people raise questions about what they are and whether they’re simply synonyms for each other. Spoiler, they’re not synonyms.
What’s a creative strategy?
Firstly, let’s clear something up. There’s a difference between a creative strategy and a brand strategy. The terms ‘creative’ and ‘brand’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be because they serve different purposes.
A creative strategy is how your brand expresses itself — it’s about how you tell your story. Whereas the brand strategy is about the bigger picture stuff. When building a brand strategy, you ask yourself where in the market your brand sits — aligning it with your business goals. The creative strategy helps you bring your brand to life by helping you understand who your audience is, what they’re looking for, how you can deliver it to them — all while supporting your business goals.
Although they serve different purposes, the two go hand in hand. You need a clear idea of where your brand is headed (brand strategy) then you need to figure out how you’re going to get there (creative strategy).
Why you need a creative strategy
A creative strategy helps your brand achieve strategic business growth. Without it, you have no direction, and your marketing efforts just float out into the ether. A creative strategy can give you the structure required to achieve the goals and KPIs set out in your brand strategy. Without a creative strategy, it’ll be difficult for you to measure return on investment (ROI) because you have nothing to measure your progress against and no clear idea where you’re heading.
When building your creative strategy, you’ll learn all about your target audience, the actions you want them to take, and, ultimately, the tactics you’re going to implement to make sure the actions are completed, helping you get closer to reaching your business goals.
Pinpointing the separate elements that make up a creative strategy can be tricky; for many organisations, the task seems unimportant; they’d rather just jump straight into marketing their product or service. But taking the time to build a creative strategy is time well-spent. If you don’t create one, you risk wasting time, resources, and budget because you don’t have a clear idea of your value proposition, you don’t have consistent branding assets or a tone of voice, and you’re not 100% sure that you’re targeting the best audience.
If you’re struggling to build your creative strategy, we can help you. We love coming up with new creative strategies for all our clients; it’s what we’re good at.
Many of us use interactive tools and web apps on a daily basis – whether it be webmail, online calculators or e-commerce retailers. Accessed via an internet browser, rather than a downloaded application, web apps are flexible digital tools and accessible across multiple devices.
In recent months we have worked on a number of web apps for our clients that have enabled them to harness the tech and connect with their audiences in a range of ways. This includes a tool to aid the sales pipeline for a business consultancy, through which users are able to ‘diagnose’ their business challenge and therefore provide valuable insight on customer needs to the consultancy . An interactive set of questions are completed by the user in collaboration with the consultancy to drive engagement, with a personalised report automatically generated for every user that highlights the areas that they need support.
We’ve also worked on a tool to stimulate conversations around blood pressure between health professionals and the public. Based on a series of on-screen questions and utilised within face-to-face sessions with professionals, the tool encourages people to reflect on their lifestyle before they are presented with a personalised dashboard of their current ‘heart health’. High-level guidance is provided on practical steps that individuals can take to improve their health, while health professionals are able to use the dashboard to prompt further discussions about wider changes that could be made and services available locally.
If you would like to talk to us about creating a web app for you, then please get in touch!