UN Volunteers

Brand Repositioning

Inspiration in Action


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme faces a changing landscape. Its first Strategic Framework Report in 2015 revealed that the potential of volunteerism is under-utilized. Branding was recognized as an area that could better support the organization in meeting its strategic challenges.

After successfully tendering for this brand-repositioning project, RT Brand Communications was commissioned to work directly with Jennifer Stapper, Head of UNV Communications, on a comprehensive plan of research, development and delivery during 2015. The project was segmented over 12 phases and involved teams in Germany and the UK, along with field visits to Nairobi.



The first phases of the project involved discussions with senior managers, to understand the hopes and expectations for the project, as well as their aspirations for UNV’s future. These one-to-one interviews built the foundations of the relationship and were held alongside a wider survey with UNV staff in the field and a review of current communications materials. This included everything from the official reports by the Comms Team at headquarters, to the Facebook pages and newsletters being created by volunteer teams. As well as drawing together a collection of good-practice examples, the research revealed that materials were often long, formal in tone and inconsistent in style. As a result, UNV materials were sending mixed messages and not meeting the needs of the intended audiences.



RT delivered a set of “Communication Principles” designed to endorse the importance of clarity and consistency, as well as showing the emotional and rational impact of the work at UNV.
We explored how the identity could be more modern and clearer in the way it conveys a greater sense of confidence. Through creating a custom ‘Brand Book’, RT clarified the message that UNV were giving its audience, whilst building value and impact. RT then created a set of ‘Brand Guidelines’ that contain details of the revised visual identity system, helping UNV deliver consistently strong materials, layouts and styles and develops a tone of voice for all employees to use, not just professional suppliers. Finally, in the spirit of looking toward the future, we supplied UNV with a complete ‘Communications Toolkit’, filled with logo files and templates to support simple future changes to logos and materials.

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