Rebranding Insights: An Interview With Stephen Guerra, Executive Director of the Bronx Conservatory of Music
Professional branding is a foundation for growth, an asset for any organization that wants to further its mission, raise its profile and expand its audience.
For a perspective on the rebranding process and its real-world impact, we talked to Stephen Guerra executive director of the Bronx Conservatory of Music, the latest recipient of a full rebranding courtesy of Ideas On Purpose and our partners, through our Brand New Brand! pro bono initiative. The Bronx Conservatory of Music has a simple mission: to provide private music instruction of the highest quality to Bronx children and adults, in their own neighborhoods, at the lowest possible tuition, making conservatory training accessible to all.
Stephen, how would you describe the overall impact of your new branding for the Bronx Conservatory of Music?
The rebranding and campaign have been a boon for the Conservatory. The cohesive branding across all external facing assets, including the website, stationary, and communications templates — as well as a clear guide for maintaining brand consistency in all details down to fonts and color schemes — has done much to capture the high-standards but warm and inviting professionalism of the Conservatory.
The video is a useful tool: The concise narrative and production values of the video make our mission and work eminently accessible to those constituencies wanting to learn more about what we do and why we do it, whether as new students, potential faculty or staff, donors, or volunteers.
“Brand New Brand! was a wonderful thing to happen to the Conservatory at the right time. Amidst a leadership change and the gravity of the pandemic and its many destructive consequences, the successfully completed rebranding and supporting materials serve as an uplifting reminder that we’re doing a good thing for good reasons and that this work resonates in our larger community.”
Did the process cause you to think differently about how you showcase Bronx Conservatory of Music to its stakeholders and the world in general?
Yes, the process itself—beyond ultimately motivating a valuable final product—had the positive effect of helping leadership to clarify the Conservatory’s identity in general and vis-à-vis its peer group. For example, it is clearer now that we are a high-touch organization and that this is our competitive advantage and distinction. While we have high standards, observed in our world-class faculty and the highly refined artistry they model, we are also empathetic and not intimidating.
What (if anything) surprised you about the process?
How seamlessly and efficiently it was conducted.
What was the reaction from your stakeholders?
The feedback from all the Conservatory’s constituencies has been overwhelmingly positive. The consistent and compelling branding has motivated our staff’s and faculty’s professionalism and pride in representing and working for the Conservatory. The website especially, being a first contact with new families in the community, is simple, attractive, and intuitive and facilitates consistent development of new business.
How did the brand and materials help your team?
The customized WordPress interface has made regular website maintenance a total breeze, allowing our administrative staff more time to concentrate on the sustainability and expansion of our core mission. The templates and brand guidelines too—beyond accomplishing a cohesive external-facing image of excellence and empathy—have essentially eliminated time-consuming (and distracting) concerns of formatting and presentation. The high “plug-and-playability” of the brand assets, tied together with the brand guidelines, promote, in short, greater administrative efficiency.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We are so happy with the results!
See the case study for Bronx Conservatory of Music, learn about what IOP and our partners provided.