Out on Bay Street — Part 1: Creating a National Brand Presence
Outreach through brand expansion
Colourphill’s relationship with Out On Bay Street started a couple of years ago when we became their exclusive design sponsor. What brought us together is a shared belief in the power of diversity to strengthen local communities. This year OOBS celebrates it’s 10-year anniversary and asked us to help rebuild and extend the brand nationally.
This series of blog posts will share the branding processes to engage all the stakeholders committed to OOBS success — the Board and Executive, Organizing Committee, students and sponsors — so follow us on twitter and join the conversation with #OOBS10.
Out On Bay Street (OOBS) provides resources and opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) students, young professionals and pro-LGBTQA organizations across Canada. Founded in 2007, OOBS now operates at a national level to promote change and openness in the community at large.
The organization has two main audiences — students who recognize OOBS as a networking partner and an inclusive community where LGBTQA students can feel safe and supported in their personal/professional development; and companies who recognize OOBS as a partner that provides channels and opportunities to connect to specific demographics — LGBTQA students, recruiters and business leaders.
Colourphill created a workplan based on our Listen, Create, Deliver process.
LISTEN: We worked with OOBS board to create and distribute a branding questionnaire and an gather and process survey results. Based on the findings supplied, we found that OOBS brand has a strong, intangible presence. It is a recognized and respected entity in the Toronto-based LGBTQA student and sponsor communities.We also discovered that Out On Bay Street name, while highlighting Toronto’s Bay Street as the symbolic focal point of the economy in Canada, seemed to be Toronto-focused and no longer reflected the national presence of the organization.
CREATE: Our next step was to create a creative brief outlining the creative strategy and next steps: name development; visual identity exploration and, finally, visual identity applications.
DELIVER: We will be unveiling the brand journey results during OOBS 2016 conference in September, a flagship event with more than 200 student attendees and 40 sponsors, and a number of prominent keynote speakers.
Are the stakes high for the organization, the Board and for us? — Absolutely!
During this journey we will find out how strongly attached is everyone to the current name and visual identity. Do members and sponsors have a desire for something new? Will the regional organizations feel that a rebrand will address key ideas (students, professionals, diversity, inclusion, LGBTQ, network, connection and opportunity) prevalent in survey comments? Will organization as a whole feel that together we created a foundation for future expansion?
Please join us on this journey and thank you for reading.