Rebranding an established organization can feel a bit like rebuilding a ship while at sea. There’s no way to effectively shut off external pressures and inquiries, and keeping various stakeholder groups sufficiently informed often takes a Herculean effort.
To comply with a funder-initiated strategic plan, the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy was faced with this very challenge. The Program had also identified that its impact and expertise were most profound in the areas of Leadership Development and Innovation, whereas the organization had previously marketed itself first-and-foremost as primarily a STEM enrichment experience. With several recent additions to the organization’s team, including a new Director, this proved an ideal juncture for distilling and defining the Program’s mission and mission. Developing a coherent brand to match the organization’s new way forward was key to maintaining authenticity and trust.
At the same time, the organization had ample trust and recognition earned from its previous work, and thus needed to consider how to honor established relationships throughout the process. Stakeholder groups included internal university partners, peer college access organizations, current participants (high school students), program alumni (college students and older), volunteers, parents/guardians, and other supporters and collaborators.
For such an array of groups and perspectives, having a good plan was as crucial as developing good content.
Social Media and Email Campaign Header Image
Success for this project required:
- Complete redesign of Program brand, including name, aesthetic, and messaging.
- Descriptive language consistent with Program activities and impact, framed in a student-centered manner. Content had to engage teenage participants, while also remaining professional and polished for communications with funders, university partners, and professional volunteers/mentors.
- Creation of all-new marketing content and branding assets, including logos, color palettes, website, recruitment presentations, program videos, and print materials.
- Communications plan to organize structured roll-out of new brand, digital assets, and program information
- Throughout all aspects of the new brand development, it was equally essential to reinforce the organization’s stability and strategic direction.
While the brand was changing, the core processes and benefits to partners and participants were remaining the same. Indeed, the brand was actually changing to match the experience and impact that was already largely in place. The Program Team emphasized this message to highlight continuity in the midst of a season of change.
Logo Redesign – ‘badge’ style
‘Stacked’ Logo Version, overlaid with Program’s annual Group Photo
Brochure Redesign (tri-fold)
For comparison, here is an example of previous program brochure and branding: