Action Hearing Loss Case Study

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Action on Hearing Loss is the new name for RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People). The charity works towards a world where hearing loss does not limit or label people, where tinnitus is silenced and where people value and look after their hearing. With more than 1,000 staff, 1,092 volunteers and over 20,000 members the charity is actively engaged in providing support for people with hearing loss and tinnitus.
Says Lisa Harding, Print and Production Manager ‘We were aware that the RNID brand was quite dated and no longer achieving the impact we sought. We decided to refresh the brand and adopt a more effective name that reflected our work and values which we launched on 9th June 2011, our centenary year.’ 
Action on Hearing Loss sought to have a complete suite of branded promotional materials at their disposal, to use across the organisation. Previously the charity purchased items on an ad-hoc basis, missing out on the cost advantages of volume purchase. 
Lisa considered several suppliers. She notes, ‘I was keen to partner with a supplier who had worked in the third sector before and understood the issues, such as tight budgetary constraints. I’d engaged Insignia before and seen some of the products they provide to another charity, the Dogs Trust.  They had the experience I was looking for and I could see they knew how to brand a whole suite of products.’ 
The charity brainstormed a list of product ideas and sent this to Insignia, who provided several samples of the sorts of items the charity was seeking, from their network of manufacturers. But with the new branding and colours came a requirement for consistency. Says Lisa, ‘Different manufacturers use different machinery and print processes and we needed reassurance that the colours would match precisely across all items, irrespective of their origin.  So Insignia arranged for test items to be printed, so the charity could see how the new brand livery would work across the different products. ‘That gave us the confidence to proceed with substantial orders,’ observes Lisa.
Action on Hearing Loss ordered multiple products: 30,000 pin badges, pens in two different colours, lanyards, travel card holders, table runners, canvas bags, 3 different designs of mugs and more. To ensure wide coverage and awareness of the new branding, every member was to receive a canvas ‘goodie bag’ including a pen, mug, lanyard and sash. Timescales were challenging, with the critical deadline of 9th June 2011. Says Lisa, ‘We gave Insignia horrendous lead-times to work with, but everything arrived in time for our launch – in time for us to put the products on the system, prepare the bags and distribute to our members. Insignia really pulled out all the stops for us.’
Branded products are great as giveaways, but Action on Hearing Loss wanted to take things a step further with the new branding. They plan to sell some of the promotional branded items via their own web site, and set-up is already well underway.
It’s important that the branded products be easy to re-order, so they also sit on the charity’s own internal ordering system. When quantities get low, Lisa receives a system-generated notification and a re-order is automatically placed with Insignia.
As a charity, Action on Hearing Loss prefers to source products directly from the manufacturer as it’s usually more cost-effective. Says Lisa, ‘Because of the service we receive, the very competitive pricing, and the assurance of quality, we’re delighted to make an exception with Insignia.’