Like us, many non-profit organizations (NPOs) are founded upon unique and compelling missions that then propel the meaningful work that they seek out to do. For-profit companies, on the other hand, traditionally start off with a product or service that they can offer, and then find ways to differentiate those offerings against those of their competitors in brand execution and messaging. Why is it then, that NPOs can’t work in the same way?

Unfortunately, a great number of NPOs do not realize that they also need to differentiate themselves from others within their space to truly achieve success. This was the reality brought to light by Reckon Branding, and their proposed goal for our engagement with them.

The Approach

When working on our rebrand, Reckon guided us toward finding a unique, ownable space within our industry that would provide us with a more competitive edge. This would in turn create an identity that better embraced our goals, and also represented the brand more accurately to larger organizations. In this day and age, when individuals and organizations alike will be very mindful about where they invest their time and money, it has become especially crucial that we weave an authentic story around our brand that easily communicates our essence, culture, goals, and values to our audiences.

Reckon Branding began by working closely with our leadership team. They conducted interviews with key stakeholders within the organization, our partners, as well as volunteers to identify what was unique about the Global Conservation Corps. They also dug deep into the brands of other organizations within the same space as us, so as to create a competitive analysis. Did the others have clear CTAs? What type of immediate impressions did they give off? Were they approachable? Corporate? Organized? Personal? The results of these efforts gave us the foundational information and inspiration that we needed to allow Reckon to begin creating some bold new brand concepts and visuals.

The Results

Reckon moved forward into design with the following newly-developed brand positioning statement as a kind of north star to guide their efforts: “To protect the endangered wildlife of Africa, we invest in the people of Africa. By educating Africa’s youth, we’re giving them the knowledge and experience they need to appreciate, embrace, and protect the animals around them. It takes people to save wildlife—The Global Conservation Corps does both.” Within their toolbox, they also made use of our brand’s main attributes that they defined: passionate, driven, and accomplished; as well as some key words that spoke to our tone and personality: approachable, honest, trusting, worldly, clear, established, positive, humble, and unique. These traits are carried throughout our brand’s entire essence, it’s in how we are seen, heard, and perceived in our communications.

After conducting these in-depth branding exercises, research, and then reviewing their visual inspiration boards and several distinct brand activation concepts, we selected a new logo and identity. Reckon provided GCC with a flexible new logo system, a brand style guide, identity kit, brand assets, a brand-friendly, hand-rendered illustrated icon suite, as well as a brand activation playbook to empower and keep our team aligned as we launch our new brand. 

As we move forward in today’s competitive world, we feel confident, proud and inspired by the rebrand that Reckon brought to fruition for GCC. Our goals, mission and company DNA is now firmly entrenched in a holistic and trustworthy brand, which seeks to continue improving the world for both people and wildlife.

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