The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse (E&P) are two iconic theatres within the Liverpool City region that are on a mission to inspire, entertain and nurture positive social change. They aim to be the most relevant, change-making theatre that represents everyone. E&P work not only in their own spaces, but also in the community, schools and outside of the Liverpool region to spread their values of collaborative, creative, compassionate and courageous art and culture.
The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse have a strong purpose and message they want to convey at all times. However, they found they were getting feedback from multiple stakeholders that the brand’s messaging and tone of voice wasn’t reflecting their values. They needed a creative, collaborative partner to help deliver a new brand voice – and secure buy-in from everyone – including the board, internal teams and the theatres’ audiences.
“Matchstick Creative were wonderful partners for this tricky task. Defining the voice for somewhere as recognised as The Everyman and Playhouse was no small feat and Ruth and her team made the process enjoyable, fun and creative. We were able to get the opinions of many stakeholders in our organisation and create something cohesive and practical. Our Tone of Voice Guidelines are now a tool we use every day.”
- Sarah Ogle, Marketing Director at The Everyman and Playhouse Theatre
To fully capture the Everyman & Playhouse brand and its values, we began with an in-depth Brand Tone of Voice Workshop. These sessions were delivered with the involvement of the Management team, the Marketing team and also the E&P Board. This ensured we got a diverse cross-section of thoughts on the brand vision and what the guidelines should take into account. Exercises that focused on collaboration – such as the boards shown below – and a ‘there’s no wrong answer’ policy, made the sessions dynamic and engaging.
Voting takes place to help test each group’s feelings on what has been created, allowing both ourselves and the internal stakeholders to get a real understanding of the most important values to express to the target audience. With so many different arms of E&P involved, all work undertaken to reach the end goal had to be considered and measured. The new brand guidelines were created inline with the different expectations and ways of working that each team had; including relevant examples of how to use the brand voice in real time.
Continuing on from the workshop, we made Management, Marketing and the Board feel empowered to contribute and share their thoughts on the guidelines. Taking this approach ensured the Everyman & Playhouse team felt confident on how the brand values were being communicated. Thanks to these ongoing conversations, we created extensive and truly co-designed Tone of Voice Guidelines; representative of the conversations we had during the workshops and beyond. With multiple teams affected by a new tone of voice in different ways, the document was fully immersive, relatable and put the guidelines into practice in relevant ways.
To solidify their understanding and confidence in their newly established Brand Tone of Voice, we took key groups of the Everyman & Playhouse team through the guidelines in person. Addressing the handover in this way helped to ensure the E&P teams fully understood the new direction and alleviated any more thoughts they had for the guide. This addressed our goal of fully understanding the wants and needs of the marketing, customer experience and fundraising teams and how they use the brand voice as part of their day-to-day roles.