Like brands, great Clubs endure because they create a shared ethos and sense of belonging, remaining relevant to their members and the society in which they exist.
In recent years the Royal Automobile Club had lost its shared spirit and character and was behaving more like a boutique hotel focusing on selling amenities rather than attracting kindred spirits. This lost sense of identity was evident in the way it behaved and in an increasingly generic and fragmented brand identity.
Our strategy: the spirit of ‘1897 onwards’
The founding members of The Royal Automobile Club were ‘adventurer pioneers’, with a restless need to move forward. The car was a symbol of progress. Members were the brave adventurers and daredevils of their day. Whilst the car’s role in society has changed, the spirit of progress is still relevant for today’s members. The opportunity we unlocked was positioning the Club as a home from home for kindred spirits with an interest in challenging themselves and exploring new horizons.
Putting the ‘A’ back into the RAC Club
We began by reinstating the wheel in the brand logotype. The previous logotype had lost the shape of the wheel, and with it, its meaning. Additionally, elements within the logo were unrecognisable at large scale, and filled in when reproduced down small. We handcrafted the new logo reinstating the wheel and introducing more intricate detail.
Driving meaning and cohesion through iconic patterns
The concept of motion and movement inspired a suite of iconic tyre tread patterns that brought unity to Club communications. Each tread was carefully chosen to represent and celebrate a key moment in British motoring and Club history and to showcase the beauty in engineering. We carefully imbued every element of the new brand with motoring vernacular from a colour palette and graphic devices drawn from the automotive world, to aspirational photography that captured the spirit of progress.
Defining the character of the Club
We created a new tone of voice to reflect the attitude of members, moving away from a legacy of stuffiness and pomposity to something more welcoming and characterful. We shifted the emphasis from selling product and amenities to creating a sense of occasion.
Turning staff into storytellers
We created a little handbooks for staff, packed with heritage facts and stories to engage them in the Club’s heritage and the spirit of progress so they could share it.
WHAT WE DID