Sharing a new vision for community impact with IONS
Setting a new standard for incorporating justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in brand development.
Created over a decade ago with 13 other provincial sector councils, the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia was established to address the non profit, voluntary and community sector’s challenges and increase access to resources and capacity building. Since then, the organization has evolved and expanded to fully embrace its role of champion of the community-impact sector, and it’s become the voice to amplify vital work from organizations providing a safety net for community programming and services.
With major social challenges facing Nova Scotians during the pandemic, the organization was more determined than ever to highlight the need for the community impact sector as a balancing force for social good. It became clear that a rebrand was needed to set the stage to raise greater awareness, sharing a vision of leading from the community-up to achieve a more equitable and sustainable society.
Our Philosophy and Approach
We knew this project would be special. In order to truly lead from the community-up, no design decision could be made in a vacuum without multi-dimensional consensus from a broad-strokes spectrum of community stakeholders. To meet this challenge, R&G pioneered a new brand strategy development and design process for social good known as the ‘Design Review Collective’ (DRC).
The process began with a stakeholder mapping engagement to identify and prioritize the organization’s stakeholders across the sector and beyond, from funders to supporters to prospective audiences, mainly from underrepresented or marginalized communities and groups. We reached out to these groups representing across a sampling from our stakeholder map, outlining a proposal to engage them in the design process at significant development milestones, starting with one-on-one qualitative research to set the stage.
R&G built a living wage for this engagement into the project budget ensuring each person on the Design Review Collective was paid a fair and sustainable wage for their time commitment. We engaged the DRC throughout the process, asking not just for their input but also for them to point out where our design assumptions may have overlooked cultural sensitivities or diverse points of view.
The goal was to create a repeatable process that sets the standard for incorporating justice, equity, diversity and inclusion into brand development and design.
We developed a new name with input from the DRC, Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS), complete with a new brand and website for the organization.
The IONS team brings a myriad of perspectives and decades of experience to its work to better people’s lives, promote the power of social good and to help unlock the phenomenal will and self-agency that resides within communities and support them as they fulfil their potential.
The team at R&G Strategic really understood our vision, and we intentionally engaged stakeholders for input on key brand elements throughout the process via surveys, focus groups, and the ‘Design Review Committee.’ R&G hosted and facilitated these conversations, delivering the results and feedback to help the IONS team make branding decisions to better resonate with the sector. We’re thrilled with how it all came together – the new brand identity is vibrant, bold, and welcoming! IONS has been receiving a lot of positive feedback on the look and feel of our refreshed designs. We’re proud to have our new brand out in the world.
IONS COMMUNICATION MANAGER
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