Getting ready to refresh our brand
What you need to know
In June, we let you know that we're refreshing our brand in early 2023 and updating uniform in autumn 2026.
We are updating how we look and talk about who we are, why we exist and what we offer - so Girlguiding can grow. That means a new look and fresh messaging so that our sections feel more like a family, and the brand is easier for us all to use.
We’re bringing the Girlguiding, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers visuals together like never before. We need to change as the lives and needs of girls change, like we’ve always done. This is a new journey for Girlguiding, and it's one that we're all on together.
A lot has changed since we last updated our brand almost ten years ago. Current Rainbows and Brownies, and even some Guides, wouldn’t have even been born when we last updated how we look and talk about ourselves.
A team of volunteers and staff have worked closely together on the project since 2019. Two years of research behind the scenes means we’re confident the brand refresh works for girls and volunteers - and all the new members who will want to join once they hear about us!
We started by finding out what Girlguiding means for girls, volunteers and parents
We spoke to young members, parents, volunteers and the public across the country to find out what they thought of Girlguiding so we could start to refresh the brand.
Our research found that Rainbows and Brownies love the immediate experiences they get from guiding, like having fun, making friends, and trying new things. Guides and Rangers value the nuances that come with the variety of things they do in guiding. They talked about building confidence and resilience, collective action and helping in the community, and how Girlguiding should be an inclusive place where everyone can participate.
There were so many brilliant ways that young members describe guiding. But our research with non-members showed there’s a gap between what members know and what the public thinks about us.
Around a third of people know our two biggest sections, Brownies and Guides. But many know less about Rainbows, Rangers or Girlguiding. If a parent or potential volunteer had never been a Brownie or Guide, they are less likely to have heard of us. Potential parents told us they didn’t know that Brownies is connected to Guides and Rangers. And sometimes non-members see us as outdated and question whether we are relevant for girls today (which we know we are!)
We need the public to feel how our young members feel about Girlguiding.
What we did
So, we started designing a refreshed look and way of talking based on what girls, volunteers and the public have told us. We went back to all the amazing ways girls described guiding, and put what they thought into key themes, including:
- Having fun together: girls are under increasing pressure from all angles. Girlguiding should be a break from that.
- Exploring: we offer girls a world of possibilities and every girl can go on their own journey.
- Belonging: it’s important to feel like you have a home in Girlguiding, and that our volunteers feel part of a team.
We used these key themes in our design process and brought the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers visuals and colours together. We’ve done this in a way that shows they’re a family of sections and part of Girlguiding – something that’s not obvious at the moment. We have also worked hard to show there is a connection between the sections so that it is clear we are taking girls on a journey from Rainbows to Rangers. The refreshed look will also feel more modern and relevant for girls today.
Because we want to reach new people in new communities, we also tested our refreshed look with non-member girls, parents and potential volunteers from across the UK to check this brand and the way we describe our offer appealed to them, and really showed what Girlguiding is all about. And they loved it!
We’ve always changed as the lives of girls change. The brand refresh is no different. And with all this research, we’re confident this refreshed brand will help guiding wherever you live, grow and thrive for years to come.
How we funded it
A brand refresh costs money, and we know that this is coming at a time when money is tight. That’s why our brand refresh is happening slowly, over the course of several years. This will help us all save money and minimise waste as much as possible.
Lots of our projects, like the Girls’ Attitudes Survey, are supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. This support gives us what we needed to make this brand refresh happen. And we’ve had help from expert design teams too, who donated their time to this project. None of it has come from members’ subscriptions. Subs still go towards the day-to-day running of Girlguiding.
What this means for volunteers
When it comes to day-to-day guiding, there’s nothing you need to change yet. We’re launching in early 2023, and when we do you’ll have two years to get used to the new brand and start to use it.
And uniform isn’t changing until 2026.
From next year, you’ll see things slowly start to change, but nothing needs to be replaced immediately. You can continue using your current uniform, badges, books and more. We’re keeping costs down, being sustainable and minimising waste.
Sometimes you’ll see brands flip a switch and change how they look completely, but for us it will be normal to see our old brand and our refreshed brand alongside each other for a few years. It’s about keeping the work manageable for us all.
When we launch our brand refresh in early 2023, our website and social media will change. You’ll also see giftware in the new brand on our online shop. On the online design centre (ODC) there’ll be new brand guidelines, recruitment materials and logos for you to use.
You’ll gradually see products in the new brand in the online shop and in your local volunteer shops too. We’re using up what we have before buying new stock, and there’s no need to buy new things immediately. Products will run alongside each other for a period as the current brand runs out of stock and new branded products appear.
That’s the reason we’re launching with giftware too. Members can order items in the new style as soon as we launch.
Then, in 2024 the design of our programme materials will change to the refreshed brand. The content of the programme (things like the themes, interest badges, UMAs, skills builders and theme awards) will stay the same.
In 2026, our uniform will be updated. There’ll be a changeover period for uniform, just like we’re doing with other aspects of the brand.
There’s a lot that will be updated over the coming years. But here’s what’s not changing:
- Our name: we’re still Girlguiding
- Our sections: it’s still Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers
- Our mission, vision and values
- Our Promise and Law
- Our programme
- Uniform won’t change until 2026
We know the brand refresh project won’t fix challenges like using GO or reducing admin. We’re still working hard to reduce the amount you need to do to make great guiding happen. We’ll always keep you posted when we have updates to give.
What this means for parents and carers
Our brand refresh will help us be a space that your child can be really proud to be a part of. However, we know a lot of you may have questions about what this means for you.
As we’ve mentioned above, our uniform won’t change until 2026. But uniform should never be a barrier to a new girl joining guiding. There’ll be a changeover period with uniform just as with everything else we’re changing. And as usual, our flexible approach to uniform will still apply.
There won’t be any changes to you and your child’s day-to-day guiding experience.
What you can expect to change is the way we look, on our website and social channels, and the way we talk about Girlguiding. You might spot giftware products and badges in the refreshed brand on our online shop or in your child’s unit in the coming months. And your local unit leaders may start updating their emails and other documents too. We want to make it easier than ever to understand why girls should join guiding and what we stand for. We did our research with the help of parents and carers across the UK, and we wouldn’t be able to do this without your support.
We understand that we’re all feeling the pinch right now. That’s why we’d like to reassure parents and carers that this project isn’t being funded by membership fees (‘subs’). And we’ll be changing things slowly over the course of the next few years to save money and avoid waste.
We won’t be changing our name, sections or values. But by refreshing the way we look and talk about Girlguiding, we’ll make it easier for new and existing parents to understand who we are.
We want to bring guiding to more girls across the UK, and give them the same amazing opportunities that your child enjoys. But we wouldn’t be able to do any of this without our volunteers. We’re always looking for more people to join and help us continue to make a difference. And you can join on a flexible basis, in a way that suits your schedule. To find out about some of the different opportunities available, register your interest to volunteer.
We’re so excited for you to come along on this journey with us.
Attracting new girls and volunteers
Alongside the brand refresh, a marketing and PR campaign will work hard for us to make us more visible across the UK, with social media and radio ads in some areas.
From next year, when you’re recruiting, our new look and messaging will make it easier to talk about the Girlguiding family, including opportunities for adults and how girls can join your local units. There’ll be lots of new recruitment resources to help.
Keep an eye out in 2023 for more news, and the chance to see what the refreshed brand will look like ahead of public launch. Your county commissioner, country/region chief commissioner and country/region staff are also getting regular updates from us. The brand refresh is a crucial step in letting more people than ever know exactly who we are and what we do. We’re proud to give girls a space to be themselves and help them know they can do anything.