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Fiona Hazell, Director of Communications and Engagement, Breast Cancer Now

3 min, 48 sec read
13:15 PM | 9 October 2015
by Philippa Smithers
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Fiona Hazell, Director of Communications & Engagement at Breast Cancer Now, started working for Breakthrough breast cancer in 2002, and has been involved on different levels, from head of PR to head of Marketing. Currently at Breast Cancer Now, she is throwing herself into the new branding, trying to raise awareness and help patients with a renewed energy. Here she answers questions about the new brand video, and the story behind this project.

What was the projects aim?

The aim was to create a 21st century brand that built on the legacies of the two charities (Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer, who recently merged) to create the go-to charity for breast cancer, capable of uniting everybody affected by disease.

What was the most challenging thing about this project?

Our timescales and the scope of the project; we knew from others’ experiences that delivering merger at pace was critical to its success, so we set ourselves the target of launching three months after we’d formally merged. The brand had to work for the thousands of our existing supporters who’d already done so much to help us stop women dying of breast cancer; it had to build on the legacy brands; and it had to resonate with new audiences interested in supporting and working with us to put an end to breast cancer once and for all.

How did you choose which agency to take on this project?

We researched seven agencies and held chemistry meetings with them. We were looking for a strong track record in developing brands, a thorough understanding of fundraising and engagement, and an ability to fully exploit digital opportunities.

Four were invited to pitch to a panel of senior staff from both charities, showing evidence of how they delivered similar projects, a proposal of how they would approach the methodology of delivering a new charity name, brand framework and application across all areas of our work, and detailed costs and timescales. The Clearing was the standout agency and we are thrilled with what we have achieved by working with them over the past months.

What is your new brand story, and how does this position you amongst competitors?

Our new brand story is underpinned by our bold ambition that, following the amazing progress already made in breast cancer research that has already saved so many women’s lives, we can see a time in the not-too-distant future – 2050 – where breast cancer will have taken its last life, if  we all act now. 

"We can see a time in the not-too-distant future where breast cancer will have taken its last life."

We’ve tried to strike a balance between charity and enterprise, to build upon our legacy charities’ incredible heritage and to remain true to it, and to create a truly open-source brand that works in a digital world.

How have your audience reacted to the new brand?

The response not only to a new brand but to a whole new charity has been overwhelmingly positive, in particular from those affected by breast cancer.

Unveiling it to our nearest and dearest supporters in May was an unforgettable experience – it’s galvanised our existing supporters and attracted new audiences and support already. It’s been great, in particular, to see our partners starting to have fun with the new name and brand, and making it work for their own audiences.

It’s also sparked debate about our area of the sector, which we’re excited to see and be a part of. Ultimately, your brand proposition shows your perspective on your world, which is why we spent a lot of time asking our audiences what they wanted in the new charity.

How will you measure the success of the new brand?

It will be measured by how top-of-mind, loved, supported and effective Breast Cancer Now comes to be among those affected by breast cancer.

Over time we will monitor and evaluate awareness, recognition and engagement to see how we’re doing, see what tweaks we may need to make. It’s really important to us that we bring our supporters with us on the journey of Breast Cancer Now; they are, and always will be, the beating heart of our organisation.

What lessons would you share to a student interested in working in charity brand/communications?

Go for it! It’s an incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding sector to work in which needs good communicators more than ever.

Next week we hear from The Clearing’s Creative Director, Jonathan Hubbard. He’ll tell us more about their approach to this project.

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