The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), a global organisation that represents professionals working within the field of construction and the built environment, has created a stronger, forward looking brand to help maintain its success and growth into new markets. The work, led by independent global brand agency Dragon Rouge, includes the development of a new strategic platform, brand architecture, visual and verbal identity, and implementation.
The Chartered Institute of Building has a role in the management, leadership, education and development of the construction industry. For its members, guiding and educating them as they embark on their careers. For policymakers, defining the standards for all to meet. And for the public, creating an environment they can live in and work safely, comfortably and confidently.
From the founding group of master builders coming together in 1884 to its Board of Trustees today, CIOB has always set and upheld the standards for the construction industry. Its members have been responsible for the world’s most ground-breaking projects and involved at every stage. From planning and managing the build, to laying the groundwork for the next generation.
As CIOB looked to enter new markets, inspire new audiences and build on its rich heritage, the organisation recognised the importance of addressing key brand questions – its strategic brand platform, brand architecture and how these are brought to life through its brand identity. Dragon Rouge was appointed to lead this work following a competitive pitch process in early 2020.
Initial consultation involved extensive collaboration with the CIOB leadership team and board of trustees, as well as reaching out to more than 2,000 members across the globe. It was found that while there was a role for CIOB’s heritage, it needed to present itself as a confident, forward-facing brand; relevant to a younger and more diverse global community. Perhaps even more importantly, the opportunity was identified for the CIOB brand to help demonstrate the positive change and societal impact that the organisation helps to create.
The new brand idea of ‘for standards, for change, for people’ was developed to help CIOB to reinforce what it’s always stood for and focus on the distinctive value that it creates. It helps set CIOB apart from the other built environment institutions (of which there are over 200) as the moral authority of the industry and a network of professionals committed to an inspiring vision.
CIOB’s diverse range of activities and initiatives didn’t always link clearly back to the brand. This was limiting CIOB’s visibility and diminishing the scale of the brand’s reach. A plethora of sub-brands and lack of a consistent, coherent system to link them was also leading to confusion around CIOB’s role. The decision was taken to move towards a monolithic brand ecosystem, with descriptor lockups for sub-brands, allowing CIOB to build awareness and equity in the masterbrand and provide clarity across its portfolio.
Building on the strategy and architecture, the brief for the identity was defined by three character traits that would influence its personality. ‘Practical and progressive’, ‘energised and active’ and ‘warm and human’ were the three characteristics that were developed to translate the brand idea into a creative expression – both visual and verbal.
The visual identity takes the idea of positive change, using a graphic ‘shift’ to communicate the cultural shift and societal impact that CIOB enables. This strong vertical ‘shift’ is used in different ways including gradients, photography treatment and in motion to create a distinct graphic design language for the brand. The logo itself was simplified, making a hero of the re-crafted wordmark to maximise impact on digital channels. The accompanying lion symbol was re-drawn to clarify and impact at different sizes. Vibrant ‘digital-first’ colours and clean and clear typography were introduced, with a refreshed approach to photography to focus on the impact and benefits that CIOB create rather than generic shots of buildings.
The verbal identity is just as important. The same brand characteristics that influenced the visual identity also informed CIOB’s new tone of voice principles to ensure a consistent, authentic experience of the brand – for all audiences and channels globally.
Leading up to the launch, a comprehensive set of online brand guidelines and resources were created with brand training given to internal teams and partner agencies. Comms materials, including a new corporate brochure, PowerPoint presentation and video content were developed, and the creation of digital guidelines for website application.
Kate Macbeth, director of marketing and digital at CIOB, said: “Thank you to Dragon Rouge for your hard work and support on this transformation. It’s been a pleasure to work with you and the whole organisation is thrilled with what we’ve achieved together. I feel absolutely confident that the work will help propel CIOB into our next stage of growth.”
Adrian Smart, client services director at Dragon Rouge, added: “It’s been a privilege to work with CIOB, and we are confident that the new brand platform and identity we created together will help them with their ambition to drive change in the construction industry and reach out to a younger, more diverse global audience.”