Foundations – What Works Centre for Children & Families

Bringing together two organisations to create one powerful impact-focused brand able to influence change at a national level

Too many vulnerable children are in chronic or crisis situations without the support they need. And despite everyone’s best intentions and efforts, that need is only increasing.

The scale of this challenge requires a period of fundamental change. And if this change is to be successful, it must be driven by evidence.

Two of the UK’s largest generators of that evidence, What Works for Children’s Social Care and the Early Intervention Foundation, were recently merged to form one organisation with a shared aim and strategy to achieve greater impact for children.

This newly formed team turned to rbl looking for help to create a more powerful brand that could turn evidence into influence and influence into action.

With a real sense of urgency driving this project, we rapidly immersed ourselves in the organisation and connected with external audiences to understand what the brand would need to deliver for them to truly drive change.

Together, we helped the senior leadership team sharpen and refine their vision and mission, as well as uncover and define a compelling world view and set of beliefs to guide the organisation’s purpose. The fundamental beliefs that family relationships can be one of the most powerful conduits for almost every outcome that children experience, and that more needs to be done to support family relationships or help children thrive in their absence, were key to unlocking the project.

To succeed we would need to build an identity that not only reflected a rational, evidence-based pragmatism but had a real life, emotional resonance too.

The answer lay in looking at the output, not the input. We needed to bring together the rational and the emotional sides of the organisation, and reflect the difference they are making to people and communities, systems and society.

High quality evidence is the foundation for high quality services, guiding the way forward so that the right support is given at the right time, enabling more vulnerable children to live safely and happily with the family relationships they need to flourish. It’s these relationships that provide the foundations children need to reach their full potential.

Evidence as the foundations of change, relationships as the foundation of lives, this common ground was the key to unlocking the brand, starting with the new name that plays on this concept.

Through collaboration we broadened this approach to create a clear and engaging story about what they offer: evidence-based answers and practical solutions that empower decision makers and difference makers; and a clear positioning defining their critical role in the sector. The brand essence then cuts to the core of the whole reason for Foundations’ existence: evidence-driven change-making.

Momentum and positive impact underpin the brand identity, with a structured visual language, strong colour palette and juxtaposing typefaces that work together to command attention and deliver clarity.

Imagery and illustration focus on the relationships themselves rather than the subjects of those relationships, while authentically representing the full diversity of families and relationships that the What Works Centre is focused on supporting.

The logo mark signifies the positive ripple effect that robust evidence can have on influencing policy and practice change, and how strong, positive relationships that we can lean on help us to feel secure, to grow, and to thrive.

The verbal identity strikes a balance between insightful gravitas and passionate empathy, where every word matters, to help inform, influence and encourage policy makers and practitioners to make better decisions, choices and actions that help drive change.

Together these elements form a brand system that enables the organisation to deliver against its vision that vulnerable children should have the foundational relationships they need to thrive in life.

“rbl has played a pivotal role in clearly positioning our newly merged organisation, pulling out all the stops to create a brand that truly unites us together rapidly and effectively. They helped us to shape a powerful brand story, creating a platform that will enable us to make the most of this once in a generation opportunity to reshape children’s social care for the better and place actionable evidence at the heart of the support given to vulnerable children and families.”

Dr Jo Casebourne
CEO Foundations

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