NSPCC overhauls brand message to focus on prevention

The NSPCC is shifting its brand message to focus on how it can help to prevent child abuse, rather than on the problem, as it looks to boost engagement with the charity and drive up donations.

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The NSPCC has switched marketing tactics in order to increase donations.

The changes will see the NSPCC introduce a new strapline – every childhood is worth fighting for – which will appear across all its marketing and communications. This replaces the “full stop” campaign that has been running since 1999.

The NSPCC is also revamping its website to reflect the new brand message, with all its content reframed to focus on prevention rather than protection.

Speaking to Marketing Week, the NSPCC’s head of marketing Tessa Herbert said the change is in response to research which found low general recall of the full stop slogan and low emotional engagement with the campaign. Donations to the charity have also fallen in recent years, partly because the charity hasn’t been pushing its message as much.

Herbert says that while full stop did its job in raising awareness of the prevalence of child abuse, it didn’t talk enough about the solutions, leaving people feeling “fatalistic about child abuse”.

“People have a sense that child abuse is a societal sickness that is always going to exist. We know that is not true but we needed a brand platform that was more hopeful and positive. Our new brand position is about what we are fighting for not what we are standing against,” she says.

The NSPCC will retain its logo with the distinctive green and five initials because Herbert says there is a “lot of brand equity” in the name. However, the slogan will now stand separate from the logo, freeing the charity to drop the strapline further down in the message if the charity has something else to say.

Communications will also be structured in a new way. Previously the charity talked about the problem with only a small slice of the NSPCC brand, however now it will focus on the child first, before talking about the problem, solution and the NSPCC’s role, with the order depending on the message the campaign is trying to communicate.

The marketing department is also forging closer links with fundraising after Herbert admitted there had previously been “a division” in how the two teams communicated the charity and its brand values.

“A brand campaign can work hard for fundraising and specific fundraising campaigns can help raise the profile of the brand. There had always been a cavern between the two before but that is not the way that charities that do well approach it,” she says.

The rebrand will launch on 6 October with activity promoting the new message on social media. The NSPCC is also planning a behaviour chance campaign that focuses on online abuse that will kick off later in the year.

Previously, Herbert says the NSPCC might have gone down a “hard-hitting” route, highlighting the really severe side of online abuse such as grooming. However it now plans to take an approach that will be much more relevant to families including talking about how children behave and share information on social media and how to mitigate the risks.

That follows the success of the “underwear rule” campaign, which offered a guide to help parents explain to children about where other people should not try to touch them, how to react and where to seek help. The charity says around 46 per cent of parents that saw the campaign had the conversation with their child, a level of engagement it wants to see with all its campaigns.

“We want higher engagement, for us to be the charity that people come to for advice,” says Herbert.

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