Here is another example of how commercial businesses can learn from Not For Profits. It shows how stories can bring great ROI by delivering on a range of strategic objectives. When an organisation uses a branding (or re-branding) opportunity to focus on their purpose, it gives clarity to everything else; from external communications to development of products to strategy development.
The client is a Relationship Counselling service. One of its main programs serves children from separated and divorced families.
Unifam is one of the leading providors in this field with a deep research base and commitment to child centred approaches. They asked us to help with a marketing and communications plan that would position them as the go-to experts, connect them with their main referrers (teachers & legals) and build respect and admiration in their sector. They wanted to grow the sub-brand so they would be more useful and effective. During the process, the internal benefits became increasingly apparent.
We teamed with our favourite human brand strategist, Fiona Pearman (Brand Illumination) and began by working within the organisation to distil the living aspects of the brand and its defining purpose. Part of the brief was to create a long term products and marketing approach across different media.
To inform our own understanding, we undertook a story discovery process. Moya gathered stories from the chief stakeholders: the children, parents, teachers and counsellors . The stories immediately enriched the internal brand conversation. We went on to use the stories as emotional content in the final document too: to animate and give meaning to our recommendations, inform readers in Government, trigger deeper connection to the challenges facing the sector and the people the organisation serves.
Welfare groups (and businesses too!) are often reluctant to invest in strategies like this: they fear it will take resources away from their core purpose. It can be seen as ‘an indulgence’ and there is an underestimation of the value that will flow from it.
This organisation was very ready to act. They had been concentrating on their services and research and were frustrated seeing the growth of peer organisations through their product creation and brand presence, particularly online.
From our first meeting with the managers of the service, we were blown away by their deep knowledge, commitment and passion. Our mission was to help them translate this into materials, strategies and relationships. Story work was integral here: we met with all levels of the organisation facilitating deep conversation around the gaps and challenges in their resources and connections.
The lights went on almost immediately.
Next was a branding identity process to create a name and identity that would reflect the evolution of the service through its research, advocacy and deep sense of purpose. Insights flowed and the brand burst to life. Our Chief of Story Design, Clive Jones stepped in at this point to create a brand identity, logo and associated collateral. He drew on both internal and external stories to inform the colours and designs. More stories flowed including those sourced from the children themselves through their drawings and writing. To see how the design process was approached, click here.
The marketing plan was the end result of an intensive and inclusive process that defined and distilled what was already there and practised everyday. The public launch included Government Ministers, key industry representatives and other stakeholders. Again, stories featured: both in the presentations, collateral, displays and take-home materials.
The planning and materials were again facilitated by our Only Human team.
Read how the stories gathered for this project just kept on giving. They were utilised again as key content in an ambitious information resource for Australian school teachers.
What the client said:
Thanks to your work with the Communications plan, the rebranding and the ‘products’, the team are very enthused and there is a building of momentum… I love it when a plan comes together.
Manager, Clinical Programs