As an international conservation charity, ZSL has been building stronger connections to wildlife for 200 years. Through their zoos, conservation work in the field and world-leading research they protect critical species, restore healthy ecosystems, collaborate with communities around the world and inspire support for nature.
Yet for such a global player their brand didn’t support the impact of their work. They urgently needed a tangible brand capable of raising awareness and uniting the whole organisation.
Research showed that as the organisation struggled to rebalance the brand, and support all areas of activity, they had fallen foul of brand soup, creating competing brands for every activity and initiative.
A natural reaction to this would have been to re-centralise, but the brand needed more, a purpose and framework capable of unifying the organisation, while providing different teams the flexibility to communicate in the right way for them and their audience.
As the original science-led conservation organisation ZSL had a unique perspective on what conservation means and what it should deliver. To ZSL conservation isn’t a backward-looking approach, preserving the world in aspic, but instead, a powerful movement driving forward to find ways to help us live better with wildlife and recover the wonder and diversity of nature.
That idea of conservation as a movement allowed everyone to see that no matter what their individual role, from keeper to scientist, campaigner to marketeer, all could play their part in conservation as an enabler, driving recovery, together.
The more we drew out this uniqueness in ZSL’s attitude and approach the more it became clear that to successfully shift perceptions of the brand, the team would need a new shared way to communicate, using emotive language and compelling storytelling. A new recovery-focused narrative and flexible messaging platform empowers everyone at ZSL to speak with one voice.
With a clearer sense the brand purpose, ZSL needed an identity equally as unifying. We reconnected the organisation with its proud, shared heritage, using elements from past identities but injecting them with fresh energy and meaning to create a new logo as iconic as ZSL’s past and as bold as their future ambitions.
The new ZSL identity was just the start, London Zoo, Whipsnade Zoo, the Institute of Zoology, conservation programmes, high-level partnerships and publications all needed to incorporate the new brand ecosystem.
A set destination, a shared vehicle, but different ways to get there – brand narrative, graphic system, colour palette and tone of voice all work to this principle. One font that can be soft and inviting, or precise and hard hitting; a personality full of warmth, care and passion but sometimes more full of one than another. And a hierarchy that sets out ZSL’s role clearly across every touchpoint, building stronger relationships between every facet of the brand.
Initial testing shows audiences feel the brand is three times as impactful as the sector average. Impact that will be vital as the organisation looks to help save the natural world we love and depend upon.
- Agency/Creative: RBL Brand Agency
- Article Title: RBL Creates New Brand for ZSL
- Organisation/Entity: Agency
- Project Type: Identity
- Project Status: Published
- Agency/Creative Country: United Kingdom
- Agency/Creative City: Leamington Spa
- Market Region: Europe
- Project Deliverables: Brand Architecture, Brand Creation, Brand Design, Brand Guidelines, Brand Identity, Brand Strategy, Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Identity System, Rebranding, Tone of Voice
- Industry: Non-Profit
- Keywords: Brand strategy, brand identity, brand architecture, visual identity system
Creative Director: Adam Concar
Strategy Lead: Rhiannon Lowe