With over 650 programs and 20,000 volunteers, the Greater Chicago Food Depository distributed food to over 678,000 adults and children in 2012 alone. Its impact is felt around Cook County through its soup kitchens, pantries, shelters and children’s programs. As part of its 5 year strategic plan, the Greater Chicago Food Depository worked with Prophet to develop a simple, compelling brand positioning and powerful messaging to unite the organization’s communications.
We began by conducting a comprehensive brand assessment, facilitating a 500-person survey and more than 50 in-person interviews with constituents. We developed five positioning concepts and tested them among the organization’s core audiences to see which resonated most strongly and felt most closely aligned to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The overarching positioning, “Community Impact Every Day,” was selected to motivate and mobilize donors and volunteers alike to get involved in the cause. These guiding principles now unite and drive continuity in the communications and actions across the Food Depository in the communities it serves.
To signal this galvanization of purpose, Prophet’s design team took a look at the visual identity, which had remained unchanged for over 25 years. A dramatic logo change was not called for; the existing identity possessed strong core equities in its color, shape and its central human figure. The existing symbol was well known and reassuring, so a close-in design exploration aimed to refine and contemporize the identity. An original video conveys the clarified brand position, and a style guide reinforces the themes that emerged in the assessment and logo phases. The design work extended into an overhaul of the organization’s highly visible food drive collection containers.
The new identity was unveiled at a large annual volunteer event and the symbol has generated a great deal of fresh enthusiasm and excitement. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has emerged with a reenergized purpose and set of guiding principles that compels donors and partners to join the mission to end hunger in Chicago. Following the identity launch, 2013 was a record year for new donors; revenue has increased by 13% and new donors are up 3.5%.
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