During previous recessions stronger brands recovered up to nine times faster than other brands. This is why, in today’s current climate, the strength of a brand is more important than ever before. 

Brands need to tell a story that people care about and evolve to meet their customer’s needs continuously, if they don’t, they become irrelevant. Famous examples of brands that lost touch of their customer’s needs include Kodak and Blockbuster.  

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is one of the most valuable charity brands in the UK, with shops on almost every high street in the UK everyone has heard of them, but if you’re honest with yourself, do you know what they do? I certainly didn’t know the full scope of their work until I began working for them.

Research showed us that we faced a major barrier. The public simply wasn’t concerned about heart diseases, even though 180 people die from coronary heart disease every day. This was a big problem for us as we rely on donations from the public to fund our life saving work. Historically we had spoken of our mission to win the fight against cardiovascular disease(CVD). But what if people weren’t concerned about our fight anymore? If we continued to tell this story, we worried that we would not be able to raise the funds we needed to realise our ambition of a world where people can live free from the fear of CVD.

To help address this challenge, we began a brand review to change the way the UK sees CVD and our role in beating it. It became clear that we’d been missing an opportunity – we hadn’t been talking about the whole breadth of our research, and it was about time we did. From vascular dementia to stroke and heart failure, some of the world’s most feared diseases were under our microscope.

In July 2018, we launched our new proposition to ‘beat heartbreak forever.’ It was brought to life by a fresh, contemporary brand identity and a campaign with a crystal-clear message that while our’ research starts with your heart, it doesn’t stop there’. The shift in strategy to talk about the whole circulatory system showed people how our research keeps hearts beating and blood flowing. It was a story that people understood and it made our work feel relevant, modern, and vital.

Our brand’s recent performance has been recognised by YouGov’s Brandlndex – in August 2019, it ranked us as the third most improved charity brand of 2019. Our consideration brand metric has reached its highest level since records began, increasing by 17 points in just 12 months. This means more than a third of people in the UK would consider giving to us. We’ve also seen an increase in trust, and the number of people describing us as ‘supportive,’ ‘compassionate’ and ‘friendly.’ In short, we are in a better position than ever to weather the challenges ahead and raise the money we need to fund life saving research to meet our mission.

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