Rebranding Insights: An Interview With Shari Shapiro of Kids In Crisis

Thoughtful, expert branding is a foundational asset for any organization that wants to efficiently and effectively further its mission. Sometimes a fresh approach is warranted, especially at a crossroads.

For a client’s perspective on the rebranding process and its real-world impact, we tapped Kids In Crisis Executive Director Shari L. Shapiro. Her organization was the recipient of a Brand New Brand! free nonprofit rebranding (an initiative led by Ideas On Purpose).

Kids In Crisis rebranded after 40 years of helping children, youth and their families. Here’s what Shari says about her organization’s rebranding experience,  their new messaging and visual identity, and the tangible results.

Shari, what are your takeaways regarding the actual branding work of aligning Kids In Crisis values and capabilities with your positioning, logo, palette, brand look, messaging, etc.? 

What stands out most to me from going through the process is the process

The IOP team helped us to really look inside. From the initial meeting it was evident that as an organization we needed to really look at ourselves and determine who we were and who and what we needed to be. The process required all of us to take a deep dive and determine our next steps. We had to put everything on the table and look at all of it and then look at it again.

I recall clearly a meeting we had at IOP offices in NYC. We were asked to bring in the individuals that represent the various areas of the agency to review the work we had done to that point and firm up the future direction of the rebranding process. Our group consisted of individuals who have been with Kids In Crisis since nearly the beginning 40 years ago and others who were newbies, thus creating great input albeit from very different perspectives. There was so much wonderful information gathered in one meeting that my head was spinning with ideas, excitement and a yearning to get to that next chapter. 

I was most surprised by the multitude of opinions and yet the ability to make decisions that captured the look, feel, and sense of being that most everyone felt positive with. It was reassuring to see that we were all on the same page.

In that way, rebranding also turned out to be a great team-building process for us.

Can you speak to the impact of the finished rebranding?

The impact has been monumental for us.

The usefulness started at the beginning, with our new and powerful mission statement: “Ensuring the well-being of children through vital 24 hour-services.” It says it all in one brief statement that can now fit everywhere—even on our new business cards.

In addition, identifying three words that are also used throughout our materials and website “Responding. Restoring. Reinforcing.” These guide us in how we deliver information in our marketing materials and on our website. They are three words that capture the essence of who we are.

The process reinforced that when speaking about the organization, we need to be succinct, use layman’s terms and communicate in a way that draws the individual in to want to learn/hear more about who Kids In Crisis is and what we do.

Kids In Crisis stakeholders were and continue to be impressed by the new look. People have shared that they feel it is fresh and conveys what we do—crisis work—in a more positive and less frightening way. Many younger people feel that it “speaks to them more” because the new look makes them feel more hopeful. Donors, clients and the community at large have a very favorable response to the gradient colors and the font style used in our new logo.

Our new website is a resource that people actually visit and use. IOP developed the new site in WordPress so we ourselves—the staff throughout the agency—can keep the content updated and fresh and alive, thus drawing people to the site on a more regular basis.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

There is no better way to kick off this 40th anniversary milestone than with a new look, a new statement of who we are and a new website that are all meaningful, strong, powerful and exciting. Thank you to IOP once again for breathing new life into Kids In Crisis.

See the Kids In Crisis Case study.

Learn more about our Brand New Brand! pro bono rebranding initiative or read about the impact rebranding had on EcoSpaces Education.