Connect Housing is a housing association and community benefit society, providing 3,400 homes and support across West Yorkshire. They began a business transformation programme to completely change the way they worked, with a new brand, customer engagement and updated systems and processes at its core. The association commissioned us to help.
We used our six-stage branding approach to involve Connect’s customers, staff, stakeholders and board in deciding what they wanted the new organisation to be and how it should look, sound and behave. Through a mix of workshops, desktop review and market research we helped the executive team to define a new overarching strategy, vision and values, backed up by a fresh, cost-effective approach to customer engagement.
From this we developed a bright new visual identity to reflect the diversity of Connect’s communities and services, with a clear ‘Values in action’ framework to help everyone live these principles through their work. We also consulted with customers about the shift to more digital services and what they wanted to see in a new website.
To create an attractive and accessible new online home for Connect and its services, we first transferred their existing website into WordPress, with easy-to-use content management tools and modular templates to update or extend pages as they wished. We then applied the new visual branding to give the site a strong, crisp appearance, together with new online options for customers to view available properties and surrounding areas.
As a final part of the brand roll-out, we worked with Connect’s in-house designer to produce detailed brand guidelines, plus stationery, signage, vehicle livery, social media assets and a suite of updated corporate publications and customer information.
With the new brand and website established, we turned our attention to Connect’s tone of voice and how staff use this in their day-to-day communication. After consulting further with residents, we designed and ran a series of online training sessions based around plain language and a determined, decent and down-to-earth style that reflected the organisation’s personality. This included a filmed version of the training for induction of new and returning colleagues.