Re-branding a not-for-profit organisation
Re-branding not-for-profit Mambourin
The Australian Government review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has changed the way many not-for-profits (NFP’s) in the disability sector are approaching their branding.
With the NDIS placing the choice of disability services in the hands of people with disabilities and/or their carer’s, suddenly disability service NFP’s have been confronted with an issue that faces ‘For-Profit’ businesses… a competitive marketplace. With more choice in the hands of people who require disability services, disability services organisations now have a need to more rigorously differentiate themselves. They need to tell their story with clarity, emotionally engage get on people’s ‘shopping list’ of organisations they’d consider aligning with.
We recently had the opportunity to take Not-For-Profit disability service provider Mambourin on their re-brand journey.
Is the journey of branding a Not-For-Profit organisation different from branding a For-Profit business?
The process of creating great brands is the same regardless of your FP or NFP status. Sound strategy and strategically driven creative are both required to deliver a strong new brand to market.
It’s imperative to get your strategy nailed, but how it’s articulated with creativity and consistency truly rounds out your brands story and introduces it with meaning to market.
Without going into a thesis on re-brands these are the five steps we undertake to breathe new life into old brands (or create new ones from scratch for that matter) for any type of business, product or organisation:
Understanding the current state of play
What is the world your brand is about to be launched into? Who are your competitors and what are they up to? Who are all your audiences and what are they thinking? What’s the general sentiment in the market around your category today? Where are you positioned in the market? Where do you want to be positioned in the market? We talk to people, research and analyse data until we understand the current state of play.
Developing the core of your brand
We begin by agreeing to a single person who (from all your audiences) can be seen as your most Magnetic Customer. If you can convince this one person that your brand is right for them, the tone of voice and messaging required to do so would be emotionally engaging enough to draw in the rest of your audience groups. We define (in an emotionally engaging way) why you exist. We hone in on the authentic truth that is unique to your brand and can become your platform to build all your communications around. We agree to the values that will drive the organisation forward and to the personality overlay that will express those values. We create a positioning line (if a positioning line is required) and develop a brand story to become the mantra or manifesto for the brand moving forward. A story that defines you/your brand and how you would like to be described by people both within and outside of your organisation.
Creating with insight
It’s only now with absolute clarity about where we need to head and have a road map of how to do it that we’ll pick up the pencil/mouse/stylus and start creating with insight. Once again, the process is the same for NFPs as it is for FPs. We’re approached by plenty of businesses who want to jump straight into creative but without all the foundations that come from deep diving into the brand via the two previous steps, you’re not really investing in a brand, you’re just paying for design. This stage sees your Brand Mark developed, the Visual Language and Tone of Voice created and brought to life across every Touchpoint. From Corporate Identity, Newsletter Templates, Social Media, Website Design, through to Advertising Campaigns. Everywhere your brand comes in contact with your audiences.
Connecting your brand to its audiences
You’ve created your brand, now you need to tell everyone about it – as best your budget allows. Always start with on-boarding staff first. They are going to be a key source of spreading the work about your brand and if they don’t get it or are not only board, you’ll quickly come unstuck. For Mambourin it was staff first, website second, new signage third and a complete overhaul of their eDM tools and advertising templates… and we continue progress their Touchpoints. We work with clients through this communications planning stage, either running it or becoming part of a working team with client, media and ourselves developing the plans to take the new brand to market.
Measuring and learning from results
Finally, we circle back to where we started, reviewing results against the measurable objectives set at the outset of the re-brand. This could be raising awareness, inspiring people to act in certain ways like donating more, volunteering, using services or changing attitudes – as long as you’ve stated them at the start, we have a way to measure success. If we’ve ticked all the boxes, brilliant – we set new objectives and plan for how these are going to be met. If the objectives were not met, we work through why and see what needs to change to meet those business goals.
The Mambourin Re-brand
Mambourin began back in the early 70’s providing services to disabled people in Melbourne’s west. And while lots has changed for them over the years, we discovered that they have fundamentally stayed true to putting people at the heart of everything they do. They exist to connect people to every opportunity and support them to get what they want out of life. This is true of their participants with disabilities, carers, their own employees and their local community. So following our branding process including in-depth stakeholder interviews, a collaborative brand strategy development process to define the core of the brand, what we were able to harness in their re-brand was a spirit of passion, enthusiasm, positivity, inclusiveness and openness.
The Brand Mark features simple lines of an ‘m’ and a nod to a smile, with the elements working together to form a pathway to growth, independence and fulfilment. These elements have been pulled apart throughout the Mambourin Visual Identity to help guide users through their brand experience and support engaging content along the way.
A successful internal soft launch in early June has been followed by the Mambourin website launch in recent days. We look forward to getting to the final stage of the re-branding process, measuring results, in the near future.