Social Housing


Research, branding & guidelines

Key Result

A fresh, new brand increasing Shared Ownership housing sales

Shared Ownership Research & Branding

Project overview

Aspire Housing Group were challenged with the task of taking on more shared ownership homes (approx. 500 in 5 years). In addition, Aspire were also looking at a series of smaller developments which are privately owned.

Initial feedback discovered that customers don’t necessarily hold a strong brand association with buying a home through a social housing company. However, feedback indicated that there is a link with development companies being less likely to have social housing companies on their building sites.

With this in mind, Aspire felt it necessary to establish how the brand is perceived by the public and whether a new brand/s would be required.

Therefore, we took a multi-stage approach to the project to ensure that we provided the best solution.

Stage 1 - Appointment, scope & project planning

Aspire Housing Group are a social housing company based in Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Under the Aspire Group they have sold 160 shared ownership homes. Firstly, we had an initial meeting with the client to discuss the concerns and began to formulate the initial brief and budget.

The meeting allowed us to ask key questions and understand the business needs, expectations and any cost / time implications of creating a new brand or whether to remain as part of the Aspire Group.

This allowed us to create a ‘shopping list’ of costing solutions based on different research, design and programming implementations. This provided Aspire with a range of options to allow them to present this as a case to the business.

Stage 2 - Understanding the audiences

We engaged with our researchers and looked at suitable audience focuses from the ACORN consumer classification. This would ensure that we fully understood who we were targeting when it came to Shared Ownership properties.

The audience included first time buyers, circumstantial buyers e.g. those going through divorce proceedings, older people looking to downsize and site developers.

Stage 3 - Understanding the brand's ecosystem and customer journeys

Desk research was then conducted to understand the shared ownership market customer journey from the consumers purchase perspective and gain further understanding of the shared ownership marketplace.

In-depth questionnaires and focus groups were also conducted with key stakeholders, including the sales development team, the site development managers, property directors and the marketing and communications teams. This enabled us to establish clear recommendations and formulate the brief.

Stage 4 - Defining a formal brief for the works

Having collated all research we then presented the brief to Aspire to show our understanding and provide our recommended solutions to the project.

Stage 5 - Visual style and moodboards

Creating moodboards was a starting point to gather research on visual territories, these included looking at colourways and photography styles based on the target audiences that had been established within the research.

Stage 5 - Brand naming and associated creative development

We then began to look at naming options using rationales based on our research and URL checks to ensure that there were no conflicts locally. This was then presented and shared with key stakeholders and potential customers to form opinions to select two options to progress with and develop. The two chosen names were ‘Cerris Homes’ and ‘Inspired Homes’.

Logo creation - Two options

Due to the tight timescales, logo ideas were immediately computer generated, we looked at two options ‘Inspired Homes’ and ‘Cerris Homes’.

For the designs, we focused around the theme of a house and the letter ’i’ from ‘Inspired’. Furthermore, a range of fonts were considered to give a contemporary, clean and modern feel.

The chosen logo

It was decided that the name choice ‘Inspired Homes’ was to similar to competitors housing names so focus moved towards ‘Cerris Homes’. A range of options were computer generated using colourways of ‘oak’ as this is associated with longevity, strength and growth.

A preference of the ‘oak leaf’ was chosen to take the logo creation to the next development stage.

Guidelines and internal roll out

The chosen logo was supported by a complementary colour palette to be used on both printed and digital communications and formed part of the brand guidelines including font usage and tone of voice.

This was then visualised on ‘For Sale’ signs and brochures to be used by the internal teams with a visual reference to allow roll out across other collateral, including their website.

Colour Palette

Colour PaletteColour Palette







For Sale Sign

For Sale SignFor Sale Sign

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