Poke Marketing rebrands the world's longest cathedral in its 100th year

Liverpool Cathedral is the jewel in the city's tourism crown and a world-renowned architectural marvel. Now, a rebrand led by Poke Marketing is recasting it in a new light.

Not everyone knows this, but Britain's largest cathedral isn't in London as you might expect, but Liverpool. Based on a design by Giles Gilbert Scott and constructed between 1904 and 1978, it's also the longest cathedral in the world, at 207 yards (189m), and the eighth largest.

Whether you're religious or not, Liverpool Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, is an architectural marvel that's definitely worth a visit. That's especially true in 2024 when the Church of England institution celebrates this magnificent building's centenary.

The landmark welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually, drawn from local people, UK visitors, and a significant percentage of international visitors. The building is not only a place of worship but has also built a reputation for its arts and events programme, which ranges from live music sets to large gala dinners and conferences.

To mark its first 100 years in existence, the cathedral wanted to develop a new look and feel. Poke Marketing, which is also based in Liverpool, was chosen to work on the rebrand after successfully pitching against 18 other agencies from across the country.

The brief

As an iconic, globally recognised building and a jewel in the crown of Liverpool's visitor economy, the cathedral needed a brand to showcase its cultural and historical offerings as well as its religious dimension.

The cathedral needed to engage with a range of stakeholders, and the new brand needed to reflect the building's history while also appealing to new visitors. It also needed to represent the sheer depth of the cathedral's offerings and experiences – faith, arts, culture, and events.

In short, a comprehensive brand overhaul was needed to reflect the multiple and diverse offerings the Cathedral provides.

Brand concept

"Liverpool Cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, not only for its scale but also for its unique shape and double transept design," says Poke's creative director, Mark Harrington. It inspires, delights, evokes emotion, and creates pride."

This inspired Poke to create the brand theme 'Look up', encouraging a sense of exploration in visitors to Liverpool. "'Look up' encourages people to not only explore the building but themselves too," explains Mark. "Audiences can look up to the building, to God, to life, to fun, to enjoyment, to pondering, to remembering and to be wowed. From this strategic direction, we created a stunning, innovative brand identity that is inspired by the building."

"We developed their positioning, tone of voice, look and feel, identity, and branding," he adds. We also created a new website and rolled out the brand across their physical and digital assets."

Key highlights

Key highlights of the redesign are a new brand look and feel, a defined tone of voice and a sophisticated customer value proposition.

All these are communicated via the new animated 3D logo, customer-centric website, well-crafted copy, and strategic marketing campaign, reflecting the cathedral's rich heritage and cultural importance.

"The rebrand is all about representing the venue's desire to communicate that each visitor has their own unique experience," says Mark. "All they need to do is look up and encounter the cathedral experience in their own way.

"We wanted the brand to reflect the cathedral's importance to people and a sense of belonging for the community and visitors alike."

"We are honoured to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Liverpool Cathedral on this journey," says Nicola Docking, managing director of Poke. "Working extremely closely with the internal team, our goal was to honour the cathedral's legacy while ensuring its brand remains vibrant and appealing to diverse audiences. The result is a blend of tradition and modernity that we believe will resonate with the many stakeholders this important venue needs to engage with."

Stuart Haynes, director of communications at Liverpool Cathedral, adds: "The rebrand captures Liverpool Cathedral, perfectly reflecting our past while providing a platform for us for the future. We believe it works brilliantly, as through its development, Poke got to fully understand us, our values and our aspirations. So, this brand reflects the fact that we are diverse, eclectic, innovative, and welcoming.

"We feel that refreshing our brand will allow us to engage with new and more diverse people, and through it, we can welcome new worshippers and visitors to look up and discover the splendour of the building and the fantastic history within our walls. Having the rebrand for our centenary year reinforces our position as a cultural landmark, which we hope will contribute to increased engagement and awareness of the cathedral."


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