Anyone who has been involved in a rebrand knows how much planning goes into it, so managers and staff at Livv Housing Group had worked hard to prepare for their transformation from First Ark Group in the spring.
Hundreds of hours across the business had gone into the rebrand, built around the company values of ‘making a difference daily, being positively open, forging the right way, and being together as one’.
However, the changeover date of April 1st presented a problem, coming just weeks into a national lockdown in the midst of a global pandemic. The internal launch at a staff conference had been due to take place just three days after lockdown was announced.
New uniforms had been ordered but couldn’t be delivered to staff, office signage couldn’t be put in place and Livv’s fleet had been part-rebranded but had to be parked up, all leaving bosses with a big decision to make – to delay or push ahead?
Chief Executive Leann Hearne explains how they decided: “We had to push ahead with it for everyone who had put so much of themselves into this rebrand and made it into something that really mattered. So, we needed to pivot our approach and come up with a new launch plan that adhered to the government guidance.”
Staff engagement was key to this new plan, utilising a newly-launched employee platform to keep in touch with staff, help them to adjust to remote working and putting people at the heart of their rebrand.
Externally, Livv Housing Group has been able to demonstrate its commitment to making a difference within its communities through work supporting the OneKnowsley initiative.
In October, Livv helped more than 8,000 Merseyside charities and voluntary organisations to receive much-needed PPE supplies to enable them to continue their crucial work helping the region’s most vulnerable people.
During the summer holidays, Livv took part in the SNAP scheme, donating more than 1000 free activity packs to families in Knowsley to help them escape the lockdown blues. The packs were distributed in style with the assistance of a fire engine with firefighters from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Prescot Green Watch.
Having generated over £46 million-worth of social value for Knowsley communities in the past year, Livv has been able to play its part in supporting local people throughout this pandemic and will continue to do so.
For Leann, this challenging period has brought highs and lows, but no regrets for pushing on with a rebrand and everything it symbolises about Livv Housing Group:
“I’ve felt such incredible moments of pride, like the moment I saw a picture of our plasterer Craig Lawther’s one-year-old son, Coby, trying on his dad’s new Livv Housing uniform. That’s the story of a rebrand all about our people.
“Our new brand has joined us on this journey, and it has become intertwined with our organisation’s history and future.”