In June 2013, RSPB launched a new campaign Giving nature a home which was about changing the way people perceive them. They wanted to use their brand to move people on from thinking of them as a charity that focuses solely on birds, to one that protects all nature.
“It was about trying to make people aware of what we actually do, as opposed to what they perceive we do,” says Catherine McNamara, an analyst at RSPB.
They needed a way to track the impact of this investment in their new brand story. “It was important for us to be able to see changes in things like spontaneous awareness of the RSPB and perception of our remit,” says Catherine.
What we did
Our monitors provided RSPB with a way to evaluate their brand repositioning, and the reaction to Giving nature a home with various audiences over a period of time
Through our Brand Attributes Monitor, twice a year we asked 3,000 people – nationally representative by age, gender, social class and region – how they’d describe RSPB.
The charity also subscribed to Charity Awareness Monitor which allowed us to compare awareness of their brand, amongst 12,000 people a year, with similar causes.
We also tested awareness amongst a new audience for the charity – MPs. Through our Charity Parliamentary Monitor, we asked MPs if they’d heard of the RSPB’s pre-election campaign Vote for Bob.
Tracking awareness of RSPB’s brand through CAM has shown that the repositioning work is reshaping people’s perceptions of the charity. “Around 25% of people name us when they’re asked to think of a charity working in nature and wildlife, the same as WWF,” says Catherine. “This shows that the RSPB is now coming to mind for the appropriate area that we work in.”
Brand Attributes Monitor, meanwhile, found that more people than before described RSPB as a “campaigning” charity, while CPM showed that 70% of MPs had heard of Vote for Bob.
“We’ve been a campaigning charity since our inception but before Vote for Bob, not as many people linked that word with the RSPB,” - says Catherine McNamara, Senior Analyst at RSPB. - “This was evidence for our campaigns team that they were on the right path and supported the pre-election campaign’s success, which included 50,000 emails to prospective parliamentary candidates.”
Catherine says the audience-specific monitors are helping the charity better target different age groups. For example, they’ve found that younger people are concerned about international wildlife and environment issues, whereas older people are more interested in local issues.
“Without research we’d be basing what we do on gut feeling, rather than evidence,” - says Catherine; “I wouldn't ever make a recommendation or decision without first looking at the evidence. nfpSynergy are very approachable and are happy to come and see us to talk though the data which they’re experts in. The monitors are a useful temperature check and allow us to see what the general public are actually thinking.”
“Without research we’d be basing what we do on gut feeling, rather than evidence. The monitors are a useful temperature check and allow us to see what the general public are actually thinking.”
- Catherine McNamara, Senior Analyst at RSPB