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Over 40 years of excellence (since 1976)
BISON B

The Big Cat Sanctuary

Open day attendance up over 200% since rebrand

As well as being a brand that exudes quality and excellence, The Big Cat Sanctuary has a proud and successful history. So, when they approached us to develop an iconic new identity, a key part of their brief was for the new branding to pay tribute to the charity’s heritage. It was a challenge we readily accepted! 

The sanctuary had two strong identities: their founding name The Wildlife Heritage Foundation and The Big Cat Sanctuary, which had been created to provide a more public-facing name. However, the two logos conflicted with one another and didn’t give the sanctuary a clear, defined brand to grow their outreach and fundraising.

The Big Cat Sanctuary

Home to over fifty cats, including tigers, lions and leopards, the sanctuary is a UK registered conservation charity, based in the heart of Kent near Smarden. Its core objectives are welfare, breeding, education and conservation. To support fundraising, they offer exclusive access to the cats, as well as luxury accommodation in the sanctuary.

Define

At the start of the journey, we visited the charity to understand who The Big Cat Sanctuary were and what they did. This included a full tour of the sanctuary to see and experience everything as if through their customers’ eyes. We then conducted research into the charity, and its objectives, before tailoring a proposal to suit them.

We brought the concepts to life with superimposed layouts, rationale, material samples and a clearly outlined proposed schedule of works. One of the challenges to overcome was how best to consolidate The Big Cat Sanctuary and Wildlife Heritage Foundation brands. Following customer research, we recommended that The Big Cat Sanctuary should remain the lead brand name as this was the most customer centric option.

Create

We set about creating an instantly  recognisable  icon, which incorporated both identities into one graphic that could be used on all marketing collateral. The tiger-shaped icon subtly includes the letters ‘WHF’ within the cat’s stripes so that the heritage is still proudly included, whilst putting The Big Cat Sanctuary front and centre, as a bold and iconic public identity.   

Once the brand was approved, the next step was to protect this new identity. BISON prepared brand guidelines, which included colours and fonts and how, and how not, to use the logo. We provided a range of material samples and guided them through the options best suited to their requirements.  

Make

We drew up an implementation plan, designed and printed marketing collateral:

  • Business stationery, including business cards, letterheads and padded compliment slips
  • Email signatures
  • Presentation folders
  • Park signage, including an eye-catching entrance, species boards and cat name plaques
  • Acrylic logo stand-off for main reception area
  • Adoption packs for specific cats, including certificates, note pads, posters, bookmarks, stickers and cat information
  • Exhibition graphics, including premier roller banners with maximum visual impact
  • Event marketing

The sanctuary wanted to launch their new brand identity in time to promote their annual open day event and to make a splash with new signage for the big day itself. This meant working to tight deadlines, whilst not compromising on quality. Following the rebrand, the open day attendance was up by over 200%!

Achieve

The new brand gave The Big Cat Sanctuary an identity to be proud of. They decided to launch their new image via social media and it received over four hundred likes on Facebook within twenty-four hours. 

The sanctuary has since been the focus of BBC documentary ‘Big Cats  About  the House’ and are now splashed across Formula E racing cars. Developments that didn’t seem possible just a few short years ago!

A lasting relationship

The charity, its people and big cats really touched the hearts of the entire BISON team, and we’re committed to  getting behind them at every opportunity. In 2019, BISON made The Big Cat Sanctuary the charity of the year and pledged to raise £5,000 for them.

WHAT THEY SAID

Mark and the team at BISON created a very successful range of designs to meet our advertising, branding and marketing requirements. This was a tough task given that we previously carried two logos representing our charity, which was a challenge to all concerned. 

BISON executed a complete rebrand with concise precision. They combine approachability and competence with complete professionalism and skill in their work. The team are easy to work with, interpreting briefs well and delivering designs with a quick turnaround. We are over the moon with our rebrand and cannot recommend BISON enough.

Giles Clark, Big Cat Guru and star of the BBC’s ‘Tigers About the House’, ‘Ingenious Animals’ and, most recently, ‘Big Cats About the House’, travelled all the way from Australia to take on the role as Director of Big Cats and Conservation

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