Cancer Research UK seeks to embolden with rebrand

Cancer Research UK is undergoing a major rebrand this September in a bid to position itself as 'bolder and less clinical', while boosting fundraising by the public.

The charity, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, wants to move away from the ‘parent to child’ tone that characterised some of its previous marketing, to a ‘warmer’ pitch.

Richard Taylor, the executive director of fundraising and marketing, said the biggest factors were to be seen as 'more relevant’, and to ‘highlight scientific progress made in cancer’.

Having recently become a founding partner of the Francis Crick Institute, an ambitious interdisciplinary group aimed to position Britain at the vanguard of biomedical research, the charity wants to reflect its newfound confidence by changing its vision strapline from ‘Together we can beat cancer’ - which it will retain - to ‘Bringing forward the day when all cancers are cured’.

Taylor said: ‘We are at a golden era of research. At the moment, patients can expect a fairly limited treatment options. The future is treatments based on the patients’ genetic make-up.’

He added that new campaigns would centre on highlighting brand ‘heroes’ such as research scientists or people taking part in Race for Life to ‘show people they are the stakeholders in the fundraising process'.

Key to the timing is also the economic challenge posed by the recession.

Out of a total £432m fundraising income last year, £137m came from legacies, which was dependent on market factors such as housing prices - the biggest drop.

While the number of people in the UK diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime is currently one in three, and expected to rise to four in ten, Taylor said recessionary factors had meant research spending actually fell to £330m per year in 2011-12, from £355m in 2008/09.

Taylor added: ‘If we can raise more money, we can save more lives. Eighty-nine per cent of donations are £10 or less and people believe because we are a big charity we must have large donations, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.’

Cancer Research UK will spend £680,000 on the rebrand this year, which will include repainting 20 per cent of the charity’s 550 shops with a new logo: a series of dots forming a 'C'.

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