The largest nature
conservation charity UK


Waxwing small bird picking a rowan berry from a tree in snowy winter

The story

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the largest charitable organisation registered in the UK.

RSPB works to promote the conservation and protection of birds. Plus, it protects the wider environment through public awareness campaigns. And, through the operation of nature reserves, is not limited to the United Kingdom.

Established in 1889, Emily Williamson created this organisation in order to protect birds that were driven to extinction by the fashion of the day, which was consuming exotic bird feathers extensively.

Since then, the RSPB has been protecting birds, and all the environments they live in, by launching large-scale nature conservation, supporting related research, inspiring others to preserve nature and influencing legislation.

Needs of the organisation

Increase paid membership by changing RSPB’s name.

Fulfilment of the needs

Advised against the name change.

Strategic direction

In 2012, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) decided to update its brand identity to increase public support and membership scheme to allow the organisation to do more for nature preservation. This was a response to the news that 60% of the wildlife species studied have declined over recent decades.

An RSPB representative stated, ‘We need to change people’s perceptions of who we are and what we do. So we can get even more support for saving nature. Our new logo and strapline are just a small part of how we will do this’.

The charity began to research this objective with its employees and volunteers on its intranet. The discussion started about changing the RSPB name and evolved into covering a broader spectrum of nature preservation and gaining more public support.

During the time of the rebranding, Jozef (Communication Design Studio founder) was working with the charity as a graphic designer and marketing assistant. He opened up a forum on the RSPB intranet wherein he explained the importance of not changing the name, for the following reasons.

‘First of all, preservation of the natural heritage is the core task of the RSPB charity. Therefore, to stay consistent with the preservation character of the organisation, it might be a good idea to also preserve the RSPB brand, including its name, which reaches back to 1889. 

Furthermore, if we change the charity’s name to cover nature as a whole by erasing our so-called ‘birdy’ label from the continuation of its history, and so enter the territories of the well-established nature and wildlife preserving organisations – such as The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – we could lose our distinctiveness on the market (the ‘birdy’ label), and the well-established organisations could potentially carry on keeping their shares of the market, while the RSPB would not stand a chance to voice its presence at all. This might seriously threaten the RSPB’s existence.

I firmly believe that we should keep the organisation’s name and consider different strategies to increase public support to allow us to do more for the natural heritage and protect it for future generations’, Jozef said.

The organisation’s employee forum had the most views in a week than any other on the RSPB’s intranet. More than 2,000 impressions and many employee comments supporting Jozef’s statement helped to preserve the charity’s name and heritage.

Furthermore, the name of the charity and its history became one of the main focal points on the RSPB website in the ‘About’ section.

Brand Identity


Name development
Tone of voice
Brand positioning

Applied on

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 Social media

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