Samaritans to revamp brand

The charity says it discovered it had departed from the initial vision of Samaritans founder Chad Varah as part of a two year review process and wants to widen its appeal and redefine its role for a modern audience.


The new look will use a handwritten headline font and new toned down, gentle colours designed to emphasise the positive aspects of using the Samaritans service, and attempt to demystify its offering.

The phone-line support charity wants people to feel they can use the service before they reach crisis. Its research discovered that people feel it is only a last resort service.

Samaritans also wants the new look to clearly define it as an independent charity as it found many saw the charity as part of mental health statutory services, which meant they expected to be spoken to as a patient rather than as an equal or peer by call handlers.

It also hopes to be more appealing to men, who currently make up around half of all callers to Samaritans, but account for more than 75% of suicides in the UK.

Fundraising and communications executive director Rachel Kirby-Rider told Marketing Week the process would lead to a complete overhaul of its marketing approach.

She says: “Although we have great brand awareness, the understanding of what we offer isn’t high. We realised our marketing campaigns showing people in desperate situations had exacerbated the problem we have of people thinking they have to be at their lowest point before they can contact us.”

The new identity will be rolled out from September in tandem with the launch of a second wave of its campaign targeting men, dubbed ‘In your corner’, which will highlight ‘the benefits of articulating your problem’ to someone who will be non-judgemental and treat it as entirely confidential.

The campaign, due to launch on 24th September, is aimed at increasing the proportion of men who phone the service.

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