Case Study: When You Need to Rebrand, but the Founders Don't Agree


Sometimes a brand starts with a project with no intention to scale up beyond that project. While this seems to be a nice-to-have problem, it often means that all the elements that defined the marketing of the project, the story of its creation, the name, the description, and talking points become irrelevant.

Our client started this way. Their project name was directly related to the tactical kits that they were assembling for their local community. Within a short four years, their project had begun to expand beyond its original mission—in part because of COVID and in part because they had discovered a niche that was not being addressed in the market.

The leadership team hired Omicle to develop a brand that better reflected their vision for the future as well as make it easier to communicate the importance of the need in local communities and the value that they provide. High-end donors needed to “instantly get it” while other nonprofits needed to know they could partner together.

The founding name caused confusion because it was irrelevant to the work that they now did and, it was so similar to a well-known nonprofit that it was common to have their donations go to the wrong organization. The logo, while it was designed to be a literal visual representation of the work they did, unintentionally had negative religious imagery.

Unfortunately, not everyone was on-board with a rebrand. For some in the organization, there was personal attachment because they had come up with the name and designed the logo. To them, it was perfect and could be explained. Even with receiving the feedback that the name was irrelevant, which confused donors and resulted in lost donations—even though those donors supported the cause, and the extra hassle of having donations go to the other nonprofit, they could not let go of the past.

The organization was wasting time justifying the validity of its organization and its mission, missing out on community impact, partnership opportunities, and larger donations.

Given this challenge, Omicle took the approach of educating the founders about what a brand is, and what it means to be marketable and scalable. By really listening to and addressing the personal feelings that the rebranding process brought up, the team was able to move past them. What started as a majority against the rebrand, ultimately turned into everyone loving and owning the new brand.

We went from 20-60 minutes to explain the organization’s previous name and purpose, to a two-word organization name and a three-word tagline. High-end donors instantly “got it”, praised the new brand, and were ready to donate. Omicle then further developed the positioning, pitch, story, and visual brand identity to ensure optimal acceptance in the market and positive receptiveness by donors. After launching the rebrand, they were able to raise more in three months than they did in the previous three years.

Growth and change elicit strong feelings for everyone in an organization. You can’t get to strategy and tactics until all of the feelings are out on the table and addressed. Omicle crafted a new brand, positioning, messaging, and brand identity so the organization could scale, but the most important work was unifying the team so they could move forward together. Everything else was a part of a strategy or a tactic to help them accelerate the impact of the organization.

Omicle delivers brand clarity, marketing strategy, and operational efficiency to prepare leaders to scale their business. If you are ready to scale your business, contact us today to get started.

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