Departments united under one new brand
Average duration per web visit
Messaging that inspires confidence and builds trust
The Fort Collins Housing Authority needed a brand identity that would better reflect the breadth of their offerings and start to change the perception of affordable housing.
The Fort Collins Housing Authority was a classic case of an agency not looking as good as it really was. For years they worked quietly developing premier properties, managing and serving multiple affordable living communities, administering federal Housing Choice vouchers (formerly known as Section 8) and connecting community residents with family services.
As a quasi-municipal corporation not related to the City of Fort Collins, the name Fort Collins Housing Authority was limiting, confusing and not representative of the breadth of work they do. It became clear that Housing Catalyst, a name they were using for a specific internal entity, was the perfect foundation for a reimagined brand identity.
The Fort Collins Housing Authority branding committee brought in Toolbox to develop, launch and manage the rebrand. Work included a new logo, website, messaging and outreach materials for Housing Catalyst, along with a web identity and messaging for the Villages affordable living communities.
Before we could launch the brand externally, we needed to sell it internally. The process of building internal consensus among board members, staff and supporters was critical to the success of the rebrand.
Toolbox dove right in—interviewing all five department heads and conducting extensive research into the industry environment, local perceptions and competitive mindsets. We documented where the agency currently was, where the brand could go and how to get from point A to point B. Before starting design, we articulated Housing Catalyst’s voice, tone and visual style. We even presented to the board of directors to help win approval of the name change.
Next, we developed a positioning roadmap and visual identity campaign that was implemented through a variety of brand touchpoints: website, infographics, e-newsletters, stationery and print materials.
The Housing Catalyst brand was launched to a glowing reception internally and externally. Department heads were excited, and the community more clearly understood the value of Housing Catalyst and the breadth of services they provide. Web traffic increased dramatically.
Housing Catalyst has been doing what they do really well and creating compelling stories for a long time. Their new brand clarifies and amplifies those stories.
We’re big believers that a strong NPO brand increases the capacity of the organization—building a bridge between program strategy and external communication. Housing Catalyst’s brand identity now matches their external image, and they both support the mission. We’re thrilled with how well the brand has been embraced within the Housing Catalyst family and by the community at large. Kim Iwanski, Housing Catalyst’s Manager of Communications and Organizational Excellence, sees their rebranding investment already paying dividends:
“We faced many brand challenges: several departments with individual identities that didn’t initially jump on board with the idea of new brand. However, as the brand developed, they were excited and engaged.”
Iwanski elaborates, “We are delighted to have Toolbox Creative as our partner in our recent rebranding campaign. Through our work with Toolbox, we refined some of our in-house processes, clarifying our roles and our messaging internally and externally. Our old brand had become stale. Our new image reflects the energy and vibrancy of our company and its work.
“Our message is easier to convey and people have a new understanding of what we do. Current and potential partners tell us every day that they like the new look.
“Toolbox’s brand work sets us apart from other housing authorities. This new image speaks to our leadership in the affordable housing industry. We plan to continue our work with Toolbox Creative on other projects. They have become great partners in helping us achieve our goals.”
We love it when a plan comes together.
Read more about Toolbox Creative’s process for utilizing brand science for mission-driven organizations.
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