Branding is a fundamental need for every organization. It’s the foundation for your distinctiveness and a platform to better communicate your purpose and reach more people.
Your brand should embody your purpose. It can inspire. In a digital-centric, social media-driven world, brands are layered and multi-dimensional. And, a strong brand can help you engage communities who find you relevant.
IOP helps a small non-profit discover the power of branding through our Brand New Brand pro bono initiative. As we seek applicants for our 2017 cycle, we wanted to check back in with the initial recipient one year later.
Frank Mentesana, Founding Director of EcoSpaces Education gives his perspective on the impact of a rebranding and what the Brand New Brand work meant to his organization.
One year later, what stands out to you the most from your rebranding and the Brand New Brand process?
The Brand New Brand Process was a wonderful undertaking for EcoSpaces Education. It not only resulted in an incredible outcome: our rebranding and new website, but pushed our organization to think about our program in a succinct growth-oriented way. By applying for the grant and going through the branding process, we were required to look at the organization from a strategic planning perspective. It enabled us to regroup as a team to set goals that were in line with growth, as was required for the grant, but additionally and importantly as a catalyst for looking intently at the future of our program.
How did rebranding impact EcoSpaces Education?
The EcoSpaces Education rebrand has brought new and increased attention to the program and the work we are doing. As we continue to look for opportunities to increase our reach and empower more kids and families with Food Literacy Education in order for them to live healthier lives, the new website has allowed us to reach beyond our original scope of one school. The new brand has also given us a marketing tool and credibility that is allowing us to expand our reach.
And it is working! In the last year we:
- have been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama, as a program that supports all of the efforts of her Let’s Move Healthy School initiatives.
- were recognized as a leader in the National School Lunch Program, as innovators in alternative healthy lunch options by the USDA.
- have been awarded an innovators grant by the Whole Kids Foundation to support our EcoSpaces Academy pilot.
- are piloting the EcoSpaces Education Academy bringing our target audiences together to be educated on initiatives to Grow Healthy Schools.
- are in conversation with potential collaborators in order to establish further growth initiatives.
We have been able to provide an online resource to educators, families and food service professionals. It has given us a platform for our ongoing lesson plans, recipes and ideas, for sharing with others. And, most important, getting our message out on the importance of teaching kids to connect to food in healthy ways.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
From the start, the IOP team was generous in awarding the rebrand to EcoSpaces Education, but also made the investment of time, understanding and collaboration that resulted in the best possible outcome. The team took the time to get to know the people and the program they were representing and continued to be generous with time and spirit in working together to produce results that best served our program’s needs and created a visually appropriate and strong brand for EcoSpaces Education. The professional, dynamic website gives the program a certain amount of credibility that we may not have garnered otherwise.
Learn more about IOP’s Brand New Brand! free nonprofit rebranding initiative here. And to understand what it’s like to go through a rebranding process, get insights here from someone else who’s done it.