Here comes the neighbourhood.
Read this if you’re looking to: scale a complex offer.
Your new neighbourhood workspace.
Where, when and how we work will never be the same again. As new tech and working patterns challenge the concept of centralisation and commuting, opportunities to make things happen are opening up outside the UK’s big city centres. And yet, these communities are still woefully underserved by a lack of quality neighbourhood spaces to work, discover and meet.
Meeting this critical social need is Patch. Their belief that the future is local had proven a hit at their first site in Chelmsford, but as they prepared for national scale, they needed brand clarity and consistency to get them there.
Over a series of collaborative workshops with the whole Patch team, as well as our strategy and design partners Naresh Ramchandani and Ali Hanson, we established an overarching brand system, then drilled into the detail with granular guidance and key applications for a wide variety of audiences, channels and physical sites.
“A joy of working on the brand identity has been the spirit of collaboration which has helped us move forward, challenge our own preconceptions and create an identity that embodies the best of our shared vision. It’s our new north star.”Paloma Strelitz, Patch
A lighthouse for local life.
First off: an evolved brand strategy established by Naresh Ramchandani to build on Patch’s proof of concept in Chelmsford and optimise it for at least the next five sites. The brand idea of Patch as “a lighthouse for local life” harnesses the generosity, optimism, confidence and respect which radiate from the team, guiding the verbal and visual identity.
Work, discover and meet. On your local high street.
Getting to a single, simple descriptor first meant resolving some key tensions within the Patch offer.
At the core of the brand is its workspace membership. But it’s also, importantly, a cultural venue, providing generous community access and events for both members and friends alike. With past events featuring the BBC, the Crafts Council and Turner Prize-winning architects Assemble, the brand’s wide-ranging programming is unparalleled in its ambition outside of central London. So we focused on what people could do at Patch, rather than what it is – empowering them to make it their own.
1. Establish a solid messaging framework
Patch had no clear rules around which messages to use when, and it was proving difficult to gauge their effectiveness. The new framework includes usage guidance to land the right message, at the right time, to the right audience. Introducing the new positioning statement “Here comes the neighbourhood” signals their optimistic and inclusive point of view — a key differentiator from much drearier offerings.
2. Bake consistency and flex into the tone of voice
We established three defining principles for the Patch tone of voice. “Bright, clear and neighbourly” remind the team to bring warmth to their writing, strive for simplicity and speak as a part of the community; not ‘apart’ from it. This, together with an established set of phrases and terminology to lean on for consistency across all sites, provides a useful frame for central and local teams to work within, while empowering them to add their own location-specific flair as co-authors of the brand.
3. Seamlessly slot into Patch life
Writing copy for specific applications, then iterating them alongside design development, is way more effective than delivering generic headlines and leaving it there. So we worked closely with Design on the marriage of words and images across a huge range of assets. From site hoarding copy and slack channel naming to toilet signage and phone booth behaviour (plus social content, event posters and email newsletters), together we built a system that seamlessly slots into Patch life, delivering its messages with quiet punch.