Tamie Booth - Account Director

QUICK SHOT: Rebranding: Why it might be right for your nonprofit

And 6 steps on how to get started

What do Dunkin’, Meta, Mastercard and LEGO all have in common?

They’ve all gone through a major rebranding of some sort, whether it was a name change, a new logo launch, an expansion of product offerings or a revamping of internal processes. Meta used to be known as Facebook, and before that it was TheFacebook (as many of us learned in a standout scene with Justin Timberlake in the film “The Social Network”).

Rebranding isn’t just a trendy term in the for-profit world; it’s a transformative powerhouse that can propel your organization into a whole new realm of success. Here are 6 reasons why it might be the perfect move for your nonprofit’s brand:

1. Modernization

Imagine your brand as a dynamic chameleon, always adapting to the latest trends, technological marvels and the desires of your audience. It’s not just about keeping up; it’s about setting the pace with fresh ideas and groundbreaking innovations.

Mastercard is a famous example of reflecting modernization in its rebrand. By dropping “Mastercard” from its logo, it signaled a desire to display its focus on the digitization of their business, making room for a future where physical credit cards are less and less necessary for transactions.

2. Repositioning

Is it time to shake things up and redefine how the world sees you? Rebranding is your superhero cape, allowing you to unveil a captivating new identity that attracts both loyal fans and eager new audiences.

Dunkin’ dropped the “Donuts” from its name in 2019, hoping the rebrand would reflect its desire to reposition as more than a doughnut brand. Dunkin’ expanded its drink offerings, built a bold new brand identity and has better positioned itself as a rival to Starbucks as a result.

BDI has seen many nonprofit organizations consider dropping a specific service area from their name when the scope of their programs has begun to reach beyond a single service geographic location. Such moves further help reposition these nonprofits so that their brand identity better reflects the work they do.

3. Recovery

Everyone faces challenges, but rebranding gives you a chance to rise like a phoenix from any setback. It’s your opportunity to say, “We’re back, better than ever, and ready to dazzle the world!”

When LEGO found itself facing significant financial struggles in the early 2000s, it integrated new digital design tools that both sped up the development of its own products and allowed customers to create their own virtual models before building with LEGO bricks. As well, it refreshed its logo and launched a brand identity that reflected its desire to both evoke nostalgia and attract new fans. LEGO’s rebrand efforts transformed it from being on the brink of bankruptcy into the successful toy powerhouse it is today.

4. Expansion

Rebranding isn’t just about a surface-level makeover; it’s about crafting a seamless identity that resonates with diverse audiences across the globe. When Starbucks removed the “Coffee” from its logo and adopted a more minimalistic design, it also added more food and non-coffee beverage offerings to its menu, built up its loyalty rewards program and further cultivated the full Starbucks experience. Its new brand image helped supercharge its growth, bringing its stores to over 80 countries today.

We see this in the nonprofit world as well. Some Rescue Missions prefer to label themselves as “Ministries” to show that they provide more than just meals and shelter. BDI client partner Dallas LIFE started out as Dallas Rescue Mission; their current name speaks to their focus on life-recovery and more of a holistic approach to ending homelessness that goes beyond meals and shelter alone.

5. Differentiation

In a crowded marketplace, standing out is paramount. Rebranding isn’t about blending in; it’s about proudly showcasing what makes you unique and unforgettable. This was the case for BDI client partner Evansville Rescue Mission at a recent fall festival, where a rebrand of their food truck, food packaging and messaging helped lead to $37,000 in revenue.

6. Adapting to change

Society never stands still, and neither should your brand. Rebranding isn’t just about keeping pace; it’s about leading the charge and creating a brand story that resonates deeply with today’s values and expectations.

I think of BDI’s own rebrand as a perfect example of this. Founded in 2004 with the name Brewer Direct, it was even referred to as “BDI” by founder Randy Brewer. When our capabilities as an agency were no longer simply in direct mail, we wanted a name to reflect that.

By transitioning to BDI as our name, and reinforcing the new brand identity with a new logo, colors and website, we’ve been able to better communicate a holistic picture of who BDI is: a full-service, omni-channel, marketing and fundraising agency.

To see more of these strategic steps expanded upon, I highly recommend reading this BDI white paper on Rebranding 101. It’s also worth reviewing this brand equity analysis that BDI performed for one Rescue Mission.

Ultimately, rebranding isn’t just a makeover; it’s a strategic decision that should be carefully considered based on your organization’s goals, market position and desired brand perception. When executed effectively, rebranding can revitalize your brand, enhance customer loyalty and drive long-term growth and success.

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  • Tamie Booth - Account Director

    Tamie Booth, Strategist/Account Director

    Tamie describes her career as a fun, colorful adventure. For over 20 years, she has worked with pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, theaters, retail companies and more. Her diverse background includes experience in account servicing, project management and marketing. Prior to joining BDI, she served as Account Director for an agency serving both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

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