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We helped The Royal Society of Chemistry with a rebrand.

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Our research provided a clear evidence base to help the RSC understand more about how they are perceived, and which logo best represents them.

The challenge

When the Royal Society of Chemistry was planning a rebrand, they needed insight into how the organisation is perceived internationally. They also needed to test reactions to a range of potential logo designs.

As a scientific society, the RSC has a strong commitment to evidence-based branding – so research was a crucial part of their rebrand. We worked closely with the RSC and their branding agency over several months, so we fully understood the decision-making challenges they faced.

The approach

We recommended a two-stage online approach of qualitative then quantitative research. The qualitative phase delivered insights about how the RSC is perceived internationally, and we tested a number of brand propositions. An online discussion forum enabled us to get in-depth feedback from chemists across four continents, in just a few days.

Armed with insights on brand perceptions, the branding agency designed four new logos. We wanted to find out not only which logo was preferred, but also which logo most strongly conveyed RSC brand values.

A short online survey yielded over 1,000 responses globally, giving us a robust sample that allowed us to provide in-depth insight on various sub-groups of stakeholders.

The insight

The findings were conclusive and demonstrated strong support for one of the logos, giving a clear steer on what would be successful.

We combined the statistical data with analysis of open-ended responses to explain to the client and design agency why one logo was more popular than the others: Familiar and recognisable, connected to the subject matter, simple, and visually appealing.

Our evidence-based approach also uncovered pitfalls with the alternative logos – things the client would have otherwise been unaware of.

The impact

The new Royal Society of Chemistry logo was rolled out in 2019 and has been well-received by members and stakeholders.

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