Chelmsford Star Co-operative has given a new look and name to its funeral division to emphasise its co-op credentials and move it closer to its communities.
Co-op Funerals, which has served the Essex region for 150 years, has been rebranded as Co-op Funeral Directors – and each of its eight branches has been named after the community it serves to highlight its local roots.
The new branding is based on the Co-op Marque, with a new purple colour replacing the previous dark blue.
“I hope everyone likes the new look and name as much as we do,” said funeral operations manager, Craig Jackson.
“We felt it was important to draw attention to each community we operate in, and minimise any confusion surrounding the name ‘Chelmsford Star’ in branches outside of the city. Plus, who doesn’t like purple?”
All the society’s funeral homes have been rebranded, at “considerable” investment – a move which was “deemed necessary and appropriate by our members,” according to Kevin Bennett, head of membership and marketing at Chelmsford Star.
The rebrand was driven primarily to reduce the confusion surrounding the name.
“The family liaison officers in Braintree answered the phone ‘Chelmsford Star Co-op Funerals…’ and we had people on the phone hang up saying ‘sorry, I thought you were in Braintree’,” said Mr Bennett.
“It also made SEO for specific branches online impossible, as people living outside of Chelmsford were put off by seeing ‘Chelmsford Star Funerals’ or didn’t even see our listing in the first place because they were searching for funeral homes in other areas.
“Now, each of the branches is named after the area it is based in, similar to our food stores, and so can be promoted online easier. It also highlights our local, community-based approach far more easily.”
Mr Bennett added that the Co-op Marque was selected “because we needed a logo, and why reinvent the wheel?
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“This is an existing, recognisable Marque we already believed in. We didn’t take the ‘clover-leaf’ approach because there is significant confusion surrounding co-operatives across the UK, and we felt using it would add to that at this time.
“The international Co-op Marque is renowned across the globe for its values, and we wanted to reflect our belief in that movement.”
The rebrand coincides with the roll-out of a new website, funerals.chelmsfordstar.coop, and Facebook presence (@yourlocalfuneraldirector), and the launch of a new free bereavement support group in Chelmsford city centre, adding to its existing four across Essex.
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