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Our new WCS brand is more than a logo

22Sep2016 WCS 0023by Mark Devan, Manager Marketing and Communications

I started working for Woden Community Service in August 2015 and it was an interesting transition for me coming from a corporate background into the not-for-profit sector.

Some things change but some stay just the same.

One of the things that became apparent after a short while was the importance of building a strategic internal and external communications foundation that would support us achieve our objectives.

And one of the areas we identified with the Executive Team was the need for a refreshed brand and visual identity. Our previous logo was developed more than 10 years ago and was in need of an update.

The Challenge

WCS has been around since 1969 and has been delivering a wide range of services covering children, families, young people and seniors including disability, housing and mental health services.

"My goal was to develop a strong and clear brand and visual identity that captures who we are and what we do today."

Emotional Attachment

Old WCS LogoChanging an existing logo (on the right) that employees and stakeholders are familiar with and have come to associate with the organisation is going to be challenging. There are bound to be many different views and preferences.

Change is hard as we share an emotional attachment to the past and moving away from that can be unnerving.

I managed this by working closely with the leadership team to understand what they liked about the previous logo and what they wanted to change. We then went through the development phase sharing the concepts that were created for their input.

Listening

This was a collaborative process to ensure that we got it right as well as got people behind the new choice. We engaged a local Canberra agency, contentgroup who patiently listened and provided us with the design ideas and helped us refine our new look until it was finished.

It was not always clear and there were conflicting opinions but in the end, we managed to reach a consensus. We negotiated differences with sensitivity as well as shared the bigger picture of what we wanted for our brand to become in the near future.

Sharing examples of other successful brand refreshes as well as simply taking the time to listening to what people felt about the brand was helpful.

Clean and Simple Design

WCS logo 2Our brief was clear, we would capture the essence of our previous logo so that we would retain the elements that made us who we are and one of it was our distinctive brand name. We used a similar yet more vibrant colour scheme, coupled with modern font and a strong horizontal layout for the new logo. We also added a tagline to capture our purpose.

Our Brand is more than a Logo

Through it all, I learnt that the brand is made up of more than colours and design on a page but the sum total of years of building relationships of trust through the service provided by our staff that reflects our values of Hope, Community, Integrity and Responsiveness.

We officially revealed the refreshed new logo on 30 June 2016 at the launch of our Strategic Plan and Values. This exercise has shown me that we are agile and adaptable. We have also successfully been able to dovetail this branding work into our Strategic Plan and Values so that it now visually represents our transformation journey. 

"People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it." - Simon Sinek

Acknowledgement of Country

"Woden Community Service acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional owners of this land and their continuing connection to land and community. We also acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have come from other nations to live on Ngunnawal land. We pay our respects to their cultures, ancestors and elders past, present and future."