Brandbook

Some important principles about how we communicate with our customers


How do we turn 3 million customers into fans?

The best brands make you feel something. The don’t have customers, they have fans.

Inspiring people to love water — something that they can’t live without — should be easy. We just need to help rebuild their relationship with water once again. Carefully crafting each message to our customers will help us do this. We’re on a mission to turn our customers into fans. Three million people who love water.


Our voice

Our tone of voice is how we communicate with people. These characteristics run through everything that we do — images, words, conversation, everything.

  • Human (always real, never corporate)
  • Honest (always the best policy)
  • Clever (we do some pretty impressive things)
  • Humble (us Welsh don’t like to brag)
  • Playful (especially when we’re showing how things work)
  • Humorous (let’s make people smile)

Not all of these characteristics will be obvious at all times. Our customer Service should always sound human and honest above all else, while our education work and visitor centres can emphasize the more playful and humorous side of the company.

Here’s to the storytellers


People love stories. For thousands of years, they’ve helped us understand things more clearly. Stories make things memorable. Stories create emotional bonds.

It doesn’t have to start with Once upon a time… but you can’t beat a story for connecting with our customers. Stories will help us explain what we’re doing to change our part of the world for the better, and help us inspire others to do the same.

Example: This is how we’ll explain why we’re RainScaping our part of the world in a website. We also add our illustrations to this text to bring it alive and accompany it with examples of what people can do to help.

Let’s RainScape our part of the world..
Not so long ago, the water cycle in our part of the world used to look after itself. Rain would soak into the land and usually find its own way to our rivers and out to the sea.
Then we started to change how we live. People moved to towns and cities. We built sewers and pipes to take dirty water away from our homes to keep us healthy. But we also built over the green areas with roads, pavements, driveways and buildings.
More and more rainwater, which used to drain into the land, now runs straight from these hard surfaces into our sewers. Every drop of water that flows into our sewers also needs to be pumped and cleaned before we return it to our rivers and seas. This costs a lot of money and uses lots of energy.
And now the climate has started changing. It rains more heavily and more often. Sometimes our sewers can’t cope when this happens. This can cause homes to flood, and sewage to pollute our beautiful rivers and seas.
So, we’ve decided to RainScape our part of the world…
At Welsh Water we’ve started to transform the way we manage rainwater.
We looked around the world — from Malmö, Sweden to Portland, USA — to help us develop a new way of doing things. We call it RainScape.
RainScape catches rain water and slows down the speed at which it goes into our sewers. It’s a more sustainable way of doing things. It helps reduce sewer flooding and pollution. It also creates greener, cleaner communities for us to live in.

Visual brand

Photography to inspire, illustrations to explain…

Photography
When we want to inspire people we use use great photography. We’ve got one heck of studio to shoot in. It’s called Wales.

Our photography will document people and their lives with water. Always authentic and human. Never staged, never boring.

And when we combine our pictures with their stories, we can inspire them to be healthier; to help us make our rivers, seas and environment cleaner; and help us make our economy stronger.

Lifestyle photography that inspires our customers

Illustration
A lot of work goes into every drop and we’ve put our entire world into our water droplet. We use it when we want to explain to people what we’re doing to change their world for the better is a simple way. It come in two layers:

  • We use the simple layer to show how the entire water cycle, from sky to sea, is connected.
  • We used the extra detailed layer to show how things work close up, with greater detail.
Detailed illustration to explain how we’re changing our world for the better

Words that work

Keep it short
Why use 100 words when you can 50? We should say what we need to, clearly, in as few words as possible. We should also keep our sentences short — ideally under 15 words wherever possible.

Our customers will really appreciate us keeping messages short. It’s also a far more effective way to get a message across. Less really is more.


Keep it simple
We communicate with people from age zero to 110. So, it’s really important that we explain things using words that people can understand.

The writing styles that we use to will vary depending on what we’re trying to say. Our adverts may be more relaxed, while some customer letters may need to be a little more formal tone. However, there’s no point using complicated words that some people don’t understand it.

So, let’s make sure that we always use everyday Welsh or English whenever we talk to customers and colleagues.


Don’t sound like a machine

We’re human beings. We’re communicating with other human beings. So let’s avoid using words that we wouldn't use in everyday conversations. Implementing or undertaking could just be doing, and remember to cut out all of those acronyms and abbreviations while you’re at it…


The new world of content creators

Content is King. Distribution is Queen.
We’re competing for our customers’ attention against a whole world of other distractions. People now consume more information than ever before — at home, at work, on the move, on a tablet, on a smartphone.

People don’t want information broadcast at them. They want clever, inspirational stories and good experiences that they can connect with on a personal level.

So, we must always put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. Always create the kind of engaging content that they want to consume, and always distribute it on the platforms that they are using.


Video

Just like our still photography and illustrations, when we want to inspire our customers we will use authentic real life clips. They will be filmed artistically and coupled with authentic Welsh voices and inspirational music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK_wF0hAQEs

When we want to explain our work, we will bring our droplet to life through animation. Again, we can couple these with authentic Welsh voices and music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SggIjaKjQVg

Audio style

Welsh Water’s voice is authentic and distinctive. It always sounds human, humble and honest. It can also be playful, clever, humorous when appropriate.