Eastlight Community Homes was formed by the merger of two Essex-based housing providers. Colne Housing Association and our existing community gateway client Greenfields Community Housing came together to form an ambitious new organisation with 12,500 properties and plans to build 3,800 extra homes in its first five years.
Leaders of the combined business were keen to co-create everything about the new venture – shaping and deciding its name, values, culture and identity collaboratively with customers, staff, board members and partners. They wanted a brand to signal how the organisation is locally invested, innovative and influential across the Eastern region and beyond – playing a decisive part in tackling the national housing crisis.
We began by asking a wide range of stakeholders (including local authorities, funders, regulators, voluntary sector agencies, contractors and suppliers) about their perceptions of the two existing organisations. The outcomes from this work provided the foundation for in-depth workshops and consultation with customers, staff and governing body members to develop the essence of the new business.
When it came to a new name, we produced a long-list of options based on our brand research, which the project team of residents, staff and board members finally narrowed down to choose Eastlight. Like the people it represents, it’s bright, snappy, positive-sounding, with the important ‘Community Homes’ suffix to celebrate the formation of Britain’s largest community gateway organisation – a business controlled by and accountable to its members.
We developed a flexible and comprehensive visual identity to match the energy of the name, using strong, opposite colours and crisp, contemporary fonts. Finally, we advised Eastlight on how it should sound – the tone of voice and image it seeks to project through everything it does, summed up by the three words respectful – responsive – reliable.