The Leprosy Mission Shop
As the commercial trading arm for The Leprosy Mission, all profits from the Shop support the mission to end leprosy transmission by 2035. The Leprosy Mission Shop needed to make more of its connection to the parent charity and show customers how their purchases make a difference.
The online experience had a very different look and feel to its more traditional offline comms. IE Brand was appointed to renew the brand’s messaging and visual identity, and to bring consistency across the various channels. The Shop was also an important way into other forms of fundraising, by converting customers buying products into regular givers and legacy donors.
IE created a distinctive and flexible visual system to work across the printed catalogue, website and beyond. The new identity retains core elements of the International charity branding and builds on their 150-year legacy as a Christian organisation, without alienating people of all faiths or none.
IE Brand was invited to conduct a brand audit for The Leprosy Mission Shop, as a way to see themselves through the eyes of an outsider and hear from experts.
Traditionally a mail order business, online sales had caught up with offline, partly driven by the pandemic. While the catalogue also drove web sales, the offline and online comms had a very different look and feel. They wanted to become more joined up.
65% of their customers were women over the age of 65, so the charity wanted to appeal to new, younger customers, without alienating the core base.
An IE Brand Consultant immersed themselves in the brand: reading core messaging, reviewing brand guidelines and strategy documents, and evaluating the website and other comms.
We fed back our top-level brand recommendations in a short report.
It’s given us a much better platform to acquire new donors. Customers can now see a direct connection between the products they buy and the work to end leprosy transmission. Our digital marketing has been easier and more effective and our own brand products look more modern and engaging.
Thanks for your brilliance and care to do the very best for every client.
The parent charity had a clear purpose – to end leprosy transmission by 2035. The IE team could see how passionate they were about this mission and we loved them for it. But the Shop wasn’t making enough of its core values in its comms.
A compelling story
At its heart, the shop was a successful catalogue and ecommerce business with a range of carefully selected, quality products. But they had limited appeal beyond those who already knew about the charity.
Unlike people making donations, customers of the online shop weren’t seeing a compelling story. The shop needed to make a much clearer link between a customer buying a pack of greeting cards in the UK and the charity rebuilding a Research Centre in Nepal, for example.
Owning The Leprosy Mission
The shop was sending out mixed messages with its name. Although trading as The Leprosy Mission Shop, the name was used inconsistently – sometimes as Home Shopping or Online Shopping. The Leprosy Mission was often abbreviated to TLM, including in the domain name, TLMTrading.com. This led to inconsistencies across the brand’s various touchpoints and put too much distance between them and their charitable aims.
They needed to put their mission front and centre.
Recommending the feel good factor
Our recommendations for the brand revolved around greater consistency and closer alignment with the charity’s mission. Then we also needed to make it far easier for people to find them online.
Most of all, we wanted customers to get a ‘feel good factor’ from helping such a worthy cause, as well as celebrating the true meaning of events like Christmas and Easter through faith-based gifts. If we could crack that, the brand would go from strength to strength.
IE Brand set about redefining the proposition. To understand the shop, you first need to understand the charity – working hard to end leprosy transmission by 2035.
Then we tell people how every card, book or gift they buy from The Leprosy Mission Shop helps to transform the life of someone affected by leprosy, and brings the world one step closer to eradicating the disease once and for all.
So the Shop’s new strapline became: ‘Ending leprosy one gift at a time’. And the essence of the brand is charitable, ethical, artisan and optimistic. The new tone of voice uses friendly, quirky copy. It makes clear the direct connection between the products and the cause, and reflects the organisation’s Christian values without alienating people of all faiths or none.
The rebrand has renewed the charity’s focus on storytelling and put people at the heart of the brand. We complement these stories with authentic images of resilient people – people empowered by the charity to live their lives to the full, following a leprosy diagnosis.
IE Brand supplied a comprehensive messaging matrix for the Shop, including key brand and campaign messaging and calls to action. This included variations for different audiences, from new and existing customers and donors, to trade clients, suppliers, and influencers.
Endlessly flexible visual system
We needed a consistent visual signature for the Shop that audiences would recognise on and offline.
Alongside photography, IE’s brand designers created a visual system based around simple, playful cut-out illustrations. This unique collection of shapes can house imagery or typography, or combines to create interesting compositions and background patterns.
This allows the Leprosy Mission Shop to create an endless variety of interesting and impactful marketing communications.
For the Shop’s new look to work comfortably alongside identities in England, Wales and Internationally, they asked us to retain the existing icon and typography. We updated the logo from ‘Leprosy Mission Home Shopping’ to ‘The Leprosy Mission Shop’.
Signalling the seasons
The brand is super-flexible, but to differentiate between the seasons we put some colour rules in place.
The colour palette derives from the parent organisation’s core Burgundy and Lapis Blue. In Spring / Summer the brand leads with Burgundy and its pink tones across comms, while in Autumn / Winter the predominant colour is Lapis Blue. This offers customers an important visual distinction, particularly for the offline catalogue where we needed to signal the launch of a new product range.
For communications around the Christmas gifting period we created a special set of cut-out icons and a festive colour palette based on Burgundy, Holly Green and Gold accents.
IE Brand supplied comprehensive brand guidelines to demonstrate how to create the brand’s unique look from the asset suite provided. We also provided instructions for their own designers to build out the asset set with new cut-out shapes.
Our brand designers shared numerous examples and templates for applying the brand to a range of comms platforms, from poster sites to merchandise. We also delivered sample pages and cover designs for their flagship biannual product catalogues.
The Leprosy Mission Shop’s web design agency then rolled out the brand to the ecommerce platform.