April 12, 2021

Altogether with Tyne

Housing association branding

We’re often asked about our branding ‘process’, sounds very clinical doesn’t it. When actually it’s far from it, we find by involving those at the heart of the organisation, it’s a fun, moral boosting and meaningful journey.

We spoke to Thea Van Der Velde, Marketing and Communications Manager at Tyne about their re-brand and the impact they have felt throughout the organisation.


What made Tyne think about re-branding?

Tyne’s been providing housing, support and healthcare to the North East’s most vulnerable people for almost 50 years now. In 2019 we appointed a new CEO and started an ambitious programme of work to develop and grow our services in order to provide more accessible opportunities to those in need.

Reviewing our brand was a key part of this. We knew that if we wanted to grow and position ourselves as leaders in the region, we needed to have the foundations in place. We decided to embark on a full rebrand to help us develop a stronger brand positioning that clearly communicated who we are, what we do and why we do it.

Tyne’s old identity had been with them for many years.

What were your objectives with the re-brand?

From the outset we were clear that it was so much more than just a new logo and look we wanted, but we needed to develop something authentic to us that helped us to communicate our work. We were also clear that however this happened it had to come from our people. Our staff and those we support are at the heart of Tyne and embody everything we do, so it was really important they played a key part in the development of our brand.

In terms of the output, we wanted to have a comprehensive guide that laid out foundations for Tyne going forward. We knew the brand process should cover everything from our purpose & values, to key messaging, tone of voice and of course the logo and visual assets.

Why did you choose Altogether to work with you?

We knew we wanted to work with a creative partner to help guide us through the brand development process, we also knew we wanted to work with a North-East based agency that aligned with our values. Following an in-depth process, we appointed Altogether. It was clear to us that they really understood what it was we wanted to achieve and their people-first approach to the project was key in helping us to create something unique and authentic to Tyne.

How did Altogether work with your team through the re-brand?

Altogether were a really key part in guiding us through the process. They provided an expert voice as well as an important external perspective as we navigated through the project. We really saw Altogether as an extension of our team, which was a huge plus for us. They spent a lot of time getting to know our organisation and working closely with our staff, residents and board when running in-depth (but great fun!) brand workshops helping to bring people on board and see the individual impact they will have in shaping our brand.

Tyne Housing brand workshop

Was there a memorable moment for you during the project?

The brand workshops were a definite stand out, it was just fantastic to see our board, staff and residents from across all different parts of our organisation come away from their day-to-day and have a voice in shaping the future direction of Tyne. This approach means that we can clearly feel the voice and input everyone’s had in the finished output. It’s a brand built by people, for people.

How has the new brand identity, values and positioning influenced your organisation so far?

Honestly, more than we thought it could! Taking our time with the brand development helped us to identify and find clarity on key areas of our work. It’s given us a new purpose, set of values and framework that’s now underpinning everything we do. Since completing the brand work we’ve fully overhauled our recruitment process as well as our one to one’s and yearly appraisals.

It’s also made a big impact in strategy development and our organisational growth. Altogether helped us to find clarity in communicating what we do, segmenting our work into four key areas; Housing, Wellbeing, Community and Learning. These four themes are currently what’s underpinning our strategic planning process for the next five years, as well as our core purpose ‘we’re here to help people get to a better place.’

Externally the new visual identity and tone of voice guide has been a huge help, providing our team with the correct assets and tools they need to help raise the profile of Tyne both on and offline.

Tyne Housing association branding, leaflets and communications by Altogether Creative.

How have your team responded to the new brand and values?

The journey of involving our team from the outset has been crucial. It’s meant that everyone feels ownership and pride over the finished piece of work and have played a really key part in embedding the purpose and values internally.

For other organisations embarking on a rebrand, what would be your advice?

I would say to take your time with it and really work hard to involve key people. This can mean a longer and more in depth process, but it means you can be sure the end result will be authentic to you and your organisation. I would also recommend finding a good creative partner. As a small communications team, having the full support and commitment from Altogether has been a huge help. It’s felt as though they’re an extension of our team and being able to call upon them for expert advice or guidance has been key not just during the process, but still now 12 months on.

Thanks to Thea for being so open about the process and to Steve Mckinlay for his thoughts below.

View the full Tyne case study

Visit the Tyne website

View the Tyne video

Looking back on what we achieved over the last few years, I think something we got absolutely right was the refresh of our purpose and values statements and then our branding. We took some time over it, and consulted with staff, residents, people at the farm, board members and stakeholders. Because of this approach, the end product beautifully captured what Tyne is all about, and now offers us a solid structure for our new strategy.

Steve Mckinlay, CEO