(This article was originally published by our friends at the “Fort Worth Business Press” on January 10, 2011, right after our rebranding work in late 2010 after sixteen years in business. I was reminded of it as we launched our refreshed website this week, in preparation for our 25th year in 2019. I think it’s worth repeating. You’ll see I’ve added a postscript, based on this year’s website work.)
While our recent rebranding initiative after sixteen years in business has been successful, it was not easy. In case your strategic goals include rebranding your organization, we offer the following advice in the hopes that it might save you time, money - and maybe even a few headaches.
1. Determine your goals and objectives. Begin by asking the basic questions that will guide your transformation process: What exactly are you hoping to achieve? Retention and acquisition of clients, donors and volunteers? An expansion or change of territory? An introduction of a broader services offering for your mission? Maybe a "do-over" or fresh start?
2. Gain an objective viewpoint. Being so close to your own operations can make it difficult to objectively see what your image portrays to others. Sometimes you need to hire professionals for the marketing and technical expertise and the fresh point of view.
3. Determine how you will define success. Simply changing your organization's colors, fonts or images will not help you achieve your strategic goals and objectives. You need to develop a few benchmarks to measure whether your new identity hits the mark and communicates a clear message of who your organization is and who it wants to be.
4. Don't settle for less. A logo depicts much more than just the name of your organization. It must accurately reflect your brand values and personality. It should be attractive and professional and should be representative of your mission and significance to the community.
5. Create a feasible timeline. Determine a reasonable timeline and stick to it. Consider that the process of rebranding cannot interrupt the day to day operations of serving the community. Allow for the necessary time and attention.
Achieving a new corporate identity that your organization can own and live up to for years to come is no easy task. However, it can be done. The proof (in part) is that now - Project Partners is "your partner for good". Brilliant.
(P.S. After launching our new brand identity in 2010, I can tell you that the last eight years has been an incredible era for Project Partners’ work to advance community causes for nonprofit, educational, corporate and community leaders and I hope you’ll take a look around on our new website to learn more. Every bit of the 2010 rebranding has held true. But no brand can rest on its laurels, so our work continues to assure that we remain “your partner for good” for another twenty-five years. What a privilege.)