Brand Development with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Posted on Dec 08, 2013

Brand Development with Archbishop Desmond Tutu News Post Image


In the past month we have matched up a growing number of The Marketing Society’s leading members with our causes. The unique perspective of senior marketers can be hugely valuable to charities and social enterprises. An interesting example of this is the work that Gareth Simpson, global operations director at Leo Burnett, has been doing with St John International.

Gareth met Pimp My Cause at The Marketing Society’s Summer Party on a Knightsbridge rooftop garden where The Marketing Society announced their partnership with Pimp My Cause and encouraged all of their members to work with our causes.

Gareth expressed his interest in supporting a cause with international expansion and was introduced by our chief match maker to Louisa Boyle, head of communications and fundraising for the Order of St John International Development Office in London.

Over the past few months Gareth has been supporting them with their rebranding work. He was also on hand to help Louisa with the incredible task of preparing for the charity’s visit from Desmond Tutu. The celebrated social rights activist visited their office a couple of weeks ago to discuss their international development work. He is a trustee of the Order of St John and a supporter of their new Mother and Child programme, which ensures that St John volunteers are there to help save hundreds of lives in Africa at the crucial time of child birth.

Archbishop Tutu gave an interview about St John International’s work and Gareth and Louisa worked together to prepare the interview script and make the most from his visit.

Desmond Tutu’s very charming answers to their questions make for must see Youtube viewing.

Above is a heartwarming clip from the interview with Desmond Tutu. You can view all of the video clips from Desmond Tutu’s visit on the St John International Youtube channel.

The task of rebranding St John’s International Development office provided Louisa with an intriguing challenge. While their parent brand St John is extremely well known for their first aid and ambulance work, the Development office was a new team with their own mission. Louisa’s team needed to differentiate their work from the work being done by St John in the UK and create a brand that paid tribute to their history while shining light on their new humanitarian programmes overseas.

“Gareth has worked with us to take the former ‘Order of St John’ into a new brand era to allow us to position our international work and specifically our international development work more clearly and to allow people to understand far more clearly what we do; how to donate and what our areas of work are,” shared Louisa.

Gareth has supported Louisa’s team throughout their rebranding process, even presenting their new brand choice to the charity’s global board himself. Gareth shared the importance of the new brand positioning and the thinking and philosophy behind it and his presentation was very well received.

Louisa explained, “Gareth took a project that for everyone seemed quite daunting and made it look easy!”

She continued, “We are moving forward progressively with our new brand – now calling ourselves ‘St John International’ which we feel far more accurately describes the fact that we are a global health care charity. Many people know the St John brand and know that we do first aid and ambulance provision, so it makes sense that we keep St John and add in International to show that we do this work throughout the world.”

New branding for St John International created by marketing volunteer

“We are working towards launching our new brand early next year as we also launch our Mother and Child programme, but in the meantime we are developing our new interactive website,” Louisa commented. “However, we have been able in the last few weeks to launch our new social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn with our new St John International Identity and are looking for lots of new followers and connections on these sites.”

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