Verbal and visual, match them up and reap the rewards

Posted by Abi

The Royal British Legion Poppy, in the spotlight.


The verbal identity sums up the complete bundle of thoughts that people have about you and everyone recognises the red poppy. We swell with national pride at seeing our boys and girls marching alongside the Cenotaph with their medals polished and the uniforms starched. It creates mixed emotions for many of us but is poignant for one reason or another to almost everyone.

Turn the clock back and this wasn’t necessarily the case. Before the start of the conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we associated the poppy with tired war veterans and forgotten wars that happened before we were born. The organisation behind the poppy, The Royal British Legion felt this more than anyone as donations slowed and interest waned.

As we all know a successful brand is not just about creating a signature or mark, in this case the red poppy, it’s about establishing an identity, a personality & structure. Forming an underlying statement will provide the framework for the design approach, the messaging, the overall product quality through to the property of the paper.

By creating a brand’s personality we can then build extra value through marketing to differentiate, promote & build RBL’s reputation. The marketing approach is about preserving this brand statement.

The customer needs to interact with The Royal British Legion at every “touch point”. These points affect how the brand is perceived – that’s why it’s not solely about designing a signature or mark but creating a whole BL experience.

If the promotional activity does not match, support and harmonise with the brand’s personality, it creates a false impression and weakens the opinion of the buyer. Brands need to be consistent, always deliver, maintaining a standard to engage & retain customer loyalty.

Visually it needs to be consistent, coherent & credible.

Verbally it needs to have definition, differentiation and be deliverable.

What does the poppy actually stand for? Who is the organisation behind the national symbol and how do we engage with them?