Case study: UN Volunteers

Creating inspiration in action on a global scale


A recent United Nations Volunteers report uncovered that global volunteerism is underutilised, and branding was a critical area that could better support the organisation in meeting its strategic challenges.

What we did

Over the course of a year, we successfully created and rolled out a new brand strategy, positioning and rebrand for the United Nations Volunteers on a global scale. Using our five-stage strategic approach, the organisation was able to recommunicate with clarity and consistency, as well as showing the emotional and rational impact of the work they do.

What we delivered

  • New brand strategy and positioning
  • New brand identity
  • New brand communications toolkit and assets
  • New corporate communication strategy


  • The rebrand was launched globally in line with the United Nations’ strategic goals
  • Since the rebrand, UNV have managed to engage with several corporate partners who now sponsor the organisation
  • Our CEO and Founder has also been invited to speak at several senior communication summits at the United Nations, promoting the importance of consistent, accessible brand communications for not-for-profit organisations

How we did it

The project was segmented over 12 phases, involving teams in Germany and the UK, along with field visits to Nairobi. The initial phases involved sessions with stakeholders across the organisation, and their aspirations for UNV’s future. These sessions built the foundations of the brand architecture strategy, alongside a wider survey with UNV staff in the field and a review of current communications materials.

Our research revealed that the current brand governance strategy was not effective. Communications were often long, formal in tone and inconsistent in style. As a result, UNV was sending mixed messages and not meeting the needs of the intended audiences. We explored how the identity could be more modern and clearer and convey a greater sense of confidence. Through creating a custom Brand Book, we clarified the messages UNV were giving its audience, while building value and impact. We then created a set of ‘Brand Guidelines’ that contained details of the revised visual identity system, helping UNV deliver consistently strong materials, layouts and styles. UNV now operates as an organisation with a renewed sense of purpose and alignment.

“We needed an agency that would understand how we worked and would appreciate that what we wanted to achieve was different to that of a commercial business. The rt team has gone to great lengths to get to know UNV in terms of our structure and culture as well as what we do.”

– Jennifer Stapper, Head of Communications, United Nations Volunteers

What happened next

July 2017

Global partnerships formed at Youth Connekt Africa event. UN Volunteers form several global partnerships at youth development summit. Read more.

June 2017

Field staff volunteer campaign in Sudan. Volunteers make a positive impact in the Sudan for the physically disabled. Read more.

April 2017

Video communications strategy implemented. A new communications medium for the brand is introduced to reach younger audiences. Read more.

October 2016

The newly designed website was launched. UNV now are able to communicate their new values digitally: www.unv.org. Read more.

Our Work

Case study: Ojo Rojo

rt brand communications
Real Thinker at rt brand communications

Case study: Memnon

rt brand communications
Real Thinker at rt brand communications

Case study: Thomson Reuters – MiFID II

rt brand communications
Real Thinker at rt brand communications