Vivienne Francis, Director of Marketing and External Affairs, introduces our powerful new brand and discusses what it will help Alzheimer's Society to do for people affected by dementia.
I wish most of all for a society, with a big S, which does not still see dementia as a condition to be hidden away and stigmatised, but can accept the openness of someone who says, "Yes, I have dementia and I'm OK".
This quote from one of our ardent supporters, Shelagh, who is living with dementia, exemplifies one of the core reasons why we have decided to rebrand. Shelagh, like 850,000 other people, is living with dementia. Her desire for a fairer society for those affected – one where the condition is not concealed – highlights the need to ‘turn up the volume’ on dementia.
Dementia is the biggest health challenge facing society today, but it doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserves. We needed a brand that will make dementia impossible to ignore, and which matched our mission: to change the landscape of dementia forever.
The brand underpins our new strategic ambitions to: reach every person who has a diagnosis and wants our help; change the conversation on dementia and mainstream the rights of those affected by it; and drive the research agenda – working tirelessly to improve support today and unlock the answers for a cure tomorrow.
Our previous brand achieved so much, and was well-respected, but people told us it was a bit passive, impersonal and cold. It wasn’t standing out and grabbing people’s attention. And that means we weren’t reaching everyone affected by dementia, and weren’t attracting the support we need to really make a difference.
It also didn’t reflect many of the people affected by dementia today. As Shelagh also said: ‘Dementia often begins to show itself in the 70s. Think of what that means historically. We are the children of the 60s who listened to and loved the Beatles, The Rolling Stones. And when our children became teenagers we were exposed to The Clash, the Sex Pistols and T Rex. Is this reflected in the way we look at people with dementia?’
We needed a brand identity that was imbued with this sense of change and coming together that has been experienced by many of those living with dementia today.
Forget me not
We involved people affected by dementia throughout the process of developing of the new brand to make sure that we created something that was accessible and that resonated with them. This included referring to all available research on accessibility and dementia-friendly design.
One thing that came across loud and clear, in both our conversations with people affected by dementia and our research among supporters and members of the public, was the need for a tangible and meaningful icon that could be used to demonstrate their support for our cause and their solidarity with people affected by it. The forget-me-not flower – long-associated with dementia – was the natural and popular choice.
Our stylised forget-me-not and other elements of our visual identity, like the vibrant colour palette, reference graffiti, ‘Pop Art’ and grass-roots change, expressing the need to be bolder and disrupt the status quo.
Our new strapline – united against dementia – communicates that we all have a role to play in beating dementia once and for all. We are committed to driving forward the growing movement for change which has already seen over 1.8 million people become Dementia Friends and over 200 communities working to become dementia friendly.
We are proud of our new brand and the potential it has to bring dementia out of the shadows and change the conversation from hopelessness and apathy to hope and action. From fundraising to volunteering to campaigning for better standards of care, we can all play a part.
We hope that you will unite with us against dementia to make it impossible to ignore.