How to Make an Old Brand New

 Monty Wyne

Is your brand experiencing an identity crisis? Is brand relevance a thing of the past? Have you lost touch with your audience? How about all the above? This is what we faced with a client that had an established presence but its presence was a thing of the past.

Chattanooga’s Allied Arts was a not-for-profit arts council that provided funding and support for several cultural partners, as well as arts education in the schools. Their donor base was not only shrinking but seen as elitist and exclusionary. They needed to reach out to the larger community. Increase relevance among younger donors. And convince folks that this wasn’t the same old Allied Arts.

How do you breathe new life into an organization that was founded over 40 years ago and was either misunderstood or invisible to younger donors? Find a unique way for them to interact with the brand; a way that made them feel more connected to and a part of the organization.

Our solution was a marketing campaign themed, “What Is Art to Me?” It spoke to people on an individual basis, asking them to define art on their terms. We created a simple device, an ornate picture frame that participants could download and print from, a mini Site that explained the campaign and asked visitors to photograph their examples of art utilizing the frame and submitting their final photos to the Site. Submissions were judged by a small group of peers and first, second and third place winners were chosen on a weekly basis. Bumper stickers, outdoor, print, collateral, an event and a highly publicized guerilla campaign accompanied our online presence and was very successful at changing perceptions and gaining acceptance with both our new and existing audiences.

A brand makeover can be a very challenging task. However, if you identify what needs to be fixed, whom it is you need to reach and set about finding a unique and relevant way to connect with them, all of your hard work should pay off.