CEO Margaret Henry shares the purpose and process of rebranding her organisation from Audiences NI, the audience development agency for Northern Ireland, to become Thrive.
When you’ve spent 14 years as ‘Audiences NI’ – the audience development agency for Northern Ireland – people may wonder why we decided in September 2017 to launch a new name – thrive audience development, a new brand – thrive: making culture count, and a new website www.wewillthrive.co.uk
While these processes can often be difficult as you sweat over the shade of magenta or the right font – in many ways for us here at thrive HQ, it was quite a simple decision to go down this route. It all started with looking at our purpose. Why do we exist, what difference are we aiming to make, and what is our offer to the sector which will deliver value for our public funding?
For us, the reason we come to work every day is because we believe that culture can transform lives and that everyone should have the opportunity to experience that.
But after over a decade in the audience development game, how our organisation needed to work and the value we offered to the cultural sector was fundamentally changing.
That need was driven by the increasingly challenging financial environment and that audience development needed to be seen as an essential element of sustainability; the re-organisation of local government in NI from 26 – 11 local councils with enhanced powers; and the potential for digital channels to reach more of the sector with our work and support. Increasingly we were working with different types of organisations from ticketed performing arts to non-ticketed visual arts to participants in workshops and classes; And more and more these audiences were coming from without as well as within NI.
We needed a new name and brand that reflected all of that.