As the country emerged from lockdown, Westminster City Council created an ambitious strategy to help local businesses get back on their feet as fast as possible. The plan began with a Shop Local campaign, to encourage shoppers to use their local stores once again, and to get people back on the streets safely. This was extended into redrawing pedestrian and cycle ways throughout the city, and producing documents and signage in preparation for the reopening of the hospitality sector on 4 July 2020.
For such a complex campaign, we knew it was important to create a brand that could be flexible and applied to an ever-evolving list of requirements. We developed a logo construction that embodied the word local within a heart, as a way of leveraging the overwhelming support towards Westminster's businesses and communities during lockdown. The branding was then adapted depending on the application, to show a variety of actions such as Eat, Cycle, Walk or maintain social distancing.
A key part of the reopening campaign was a series of videos with small business owners in the hospitality sector, where they talked about what they were doing to prepare for reopening on 4 July 2020.
The identity has played a fundemental role in the success of the strategy so far and has received praise from other councils as well as senior cabinet members in Westminster. We're continuing to work on new materials as the strategy evolves as well as integrating the identity within Westminster's established brand architecture.
Targeted social media formed a big part of the campaign. It not only encouraged people to return to their local shops and restaurants, but directed them towards the Shop Local interactive map, hosted on the Westminster City Council website that told users what businesses near them would be open.
We developed a comprehensive toolkit which went out to businesses across the borough, providing them with essential information and assets to enable them to reopen safely and confidently. This included promotional posters, signage for hand sanitising stations, foot markers for social distancing and window stickers.
The outdoor assets have appeared all across the West End, Victoria and a host of other Westminster destinations. In response to requests from businesses, we produced instructional signage to encourage visitors to behave properly. These additional signs were produced in the brand look and feel, which further entrenched it as the coduit for Westminster's reopening communications.
All aspects of the campaign have been hugely successful. The Council leaders have spoken in high praise of the campaign and it has been featured across numerous news outlets including BBC news, Sky News, Metro and the Evening Standard, as well as a number of online news sources. In addition we have been contacted by a number of other local councils asking for similar campaigns.
Westminster businesses engaged
outdoor signs installed
webpage views in four weeks*
*westminster.gov.uk/westminster-reopens and westminster.gov.uk/shop-local combined