Energising staff and visitors for 12.5% growth in annual footfall.

Results

The SS Great Britain Trust is a Bristol-based charity who manage Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s infamous iron-hulled steamship, the SS Great Britain. We worked with them to refresh their brand for modern audiences, increase their annual visitor numbers and help them share Brunel’s legacy with the world.

SS Great Britain Trust

Refreshing the brand to bring history to life.

Despite being voted the number one visitor attraction in the South West, visitor numbers had slowly been dropping for two years prior to our rebranding project. With footfall decreasing and funding pressures increasing, they needed to attract more visitors. Fast.

We began working with them in 2016 to modernise their brand identity, and create an Organising Idea that could inspire and enable employees and volunteers to bring Brunel’s legacy to life.

Testimonial

The SS Great Britain Trust is responsible for sharing the life and legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel with the world. FutureKings helped us tell our story, align our team and make advocates of everyone who passes through our gates. Without them, achieving our five year strategic plan wouldn’t be possible.

Sally Cordwell Deputy CEO of SS Great Britain Trust

OUR PROGRAMME OF WORK

Create

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Activate

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CREATE

Leading with the man who inspired it all.

We began by reviewing the existing research, design assets, competitors and customer segments to build a strong understanding of the Trust. From there, we worked with their whole team, from senior leaders to employees and volunteers, to identify what they wanted to achieve, how and, most importantly, why.

Their mission became clear during these sessions: to preserve the SS Great Britain and Brunel’s legacy, and to help as many people as possible enjoy discovering them. The new brand needed to balance authenticity with surprise, creating an immersive experience that could both engage and educate modern audiences.

To keep us on course, we created a guiding design principle: ‘This is Victorian. This is now’.

Organising Idea

To step onto the SS Great Britain and walk around the museum is to step back in time - to become a ‘Captain of Discovery’. This Organising Idea celebrates their collective passion for preserving and sharing Brunel’s fascinating story, while encouraging each team member to see themselves as leaders who play a role in the museum’s success.

Proposition

A voyage into a time of discovery.

You’re about to discover the greatest innovation and the greatest mind of the Victorian age. Because this is the ship and the man that built our world today.

Explore the dock. Go below deck. Meet period characters. Grip the rope as you climb the rigging. See the engine come to life. Smell the food in the kitchens. Hear true tales from the past. And go inside the brilliant mind of Brunel, who changed the world forever.

This is the SS Great Britain.
This is Victorian. This is now.

IDENTITY

Next, guided by our ‘This is Victorian. This is now’ design principle, we created a wide range of internal and external assets and communications. We combined authentic Victorian hand-drawing and lettering with playful photography and a bold colour palette (inspired by the ship’s red hull and black gearwheel) to achieve an authentic but contemporary look and feel for the brand.

Toolkit

Activate

Create

01

Activate

02

Refreshing the brand to inspire growth.

Despite being voted the number one visitor attraction in the South West, visitor numbers had slowly been dropping for two years prior to our rebranding project. With footfall decreasing and funding pressures increasing, they needed to attract more visitors. Fast.

We began working with them in 2016 to modernise their brand identity, and create an Organising Idea that could inspire and enable employees and volunteers to bring Brunel’s legacy to life.

Culture

To ensure the whole team, including the volunteers, bought into the refreshed brand, we involved all of them from the start. By doing this, we created brand advocates of everyone at the SS Great Britain Trust as they understood exactly what part they had to play in delivering the organisation’s strategy, and could see how their ideas and feedback had helped us develop the final brand.

Products & Services

The experience principles we developed to support ‘Captains of Discovery’ provide the framework for ensuring whether people interact with the Trust as a visitor or are gifted something from the shop, they get a strong sense of what the SS Great Britain stands for.

Communications.

The SS Great Britain Trust rely on marketing communications to bring in new visitors and entice previous visitors back. This is particularly important during holiday periods when they make most of their revenue. We therefore built comprehensive brand guidelines to enable the team to create consistent, engaging communications, including promotional materials for campaigns.

Environments

As a visitor attraction, creating an immersive and easily navigable experience is essential. That’s why we updated all of the on-site signage, embedded the new brand across the museum and ticket office, and helped refurbish the Dockyard café.