On 15 June, 2012, we changed our organisation name from UnitingCare Moreland Hall to UnitingCare ReGen, or ReGen for short. We’re also changing how our publications look and how we communicate with the people who use our services, their families and friends, other service providers and the wider community.
We recognise and respect that many people who have used or referred people to our services over the past 42 years, have positive associations with the name Moreland Hall and will wonder why we changed it after all this time.
With the dust beginning to settle since the launch of our new brand (and Drug Action Week in Victoria), we thought it would be useful to answer this and other questions about our rebranding.
The Context for Change
We haven’t undertaken this significant change lightly. For several years we suspected that our name, Moreland Hall, didn’t really reflect what people can expect from our services. As well as providing an increasing number of statewide treatment services and delivering education and training interstate, we’ve also sought to increase our advocacy role, to both challenge stigma and contribute to an informed public debate of issues relating to alcohol and other drug use in Australia.
In order to increase our effectiveness, we recognised that we needed to change how we are perceived by our key stakeholders.
The Change Process
In partnership with the Melbourne-based brand agency, Studio Brave, we ran a series of 14 workshops for people with drug and alcohol issues, their families and friends, staff from across the organisation and board members to capture their thoughts and perception on our current and potential identity. Our research found remarkably consistent responses across all stakeholder groups.
What we found was that, for people who already know us, our name doesn’t matter. But for those who don’t, it can play an important part in deciding whether they give us a call or don’t.
We learned that people recognised and valued the quality of our services, our values and our commitment to providing people with practical, integrated and holistic supports that work. People’s attachment was to their experience with our services not our name. For those who did not have previous experience with us, Moreland Hall was often seen as being cold or ‘institutional’, with services based around a little-known suburb in northern Melbourne (Moreland). These perceptions acted as barriers to people engaging with our services.
Consequently, our rebranding was not a case of trying to impose a new attitude or approach on an existing organisational culture, but a search for an identity that better represented who we are, what we do and what we hope to achieve in the future.
Developing a New Brand
The consistent message from people who had used our services was to adopt an identity that was warm, bright and hopeful, that was grounded in our work and that spoke about change. After working through over 500 names, ReGen was chosen as aname that reflected our brand essence, with a bold logo and a bright colour palette that you will see in our communications, including our website (www.regen.org.au).
Our new name references regeneration, new beginnings and growth within (and throughout) the life cycle. It reflects our holistic approach to AOD treatment and education as part of a broader promotion of health and wellbeing.
Our new visual identity has been designed around the core theme of optimism. The use of key ‘Re’ words (such as ReBuild, ReSpect, ReConsider, ReFrame and ReDuce), that underpin our core values, play a key role in our communications. This complements our wide colour palette and flexible placement of the logo reinforcing the concept of change, flexibility and adaptability.
During the brand launch, CEO Laurence Alvis said:
Change takes courage. Our clients face this every day. We have also embraced change with this new name and visual identity. It has finally given us the voice we needed. A strong voice which will change culture and change lives.