How We Decided Our Brand Just Wasn’t Who We Are Anymore.
How We Decided Our Brand Just Wasn’t Who We Are Anymore
Just like any other nonprofit, what we do is ever-evolving, absorbing pieces of popular culture and politics and social changes. Starting out as The Women’s Center of Lexington, the founders of this agency were determined to fill in a canyon where services for survivors should have been. Many years later, the leaders of the organization realized that their name and brand weren’t quite hitting the mark. Conversations regarding the agency’s mission, vision, and values led to a new brand and a new name: Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center. BRCC had expanded services, was taking up more space, and needed to demonstrate that change for the community. Now, many more years later, we see another canyon that needs filled.
Each name that has represented this space has been so valuable, so important, in helping us to continue providing services and reaching more and more of the community. But this agency is not as simple as our former names indicate. Many of our clients don’t consider themselves part of the Bluegrass, don’t identify their trauma as rape, and aren’t currently in crisis. And while client services are the keystone of the organization, we have made room to put a greater emphasis on education, prevention, and community. We seek to be a resource for individuals impacted by sexual violence, community partners, schools, lawyers…anyone who has experienced sexual violence or who wants to know more.
I started thinking about rebranding as an intern with BRCC, and now, as the Director of Development and Marketing, I’m so excited to see the birth of a new brand. We started the conversation by asking three questions:
What does it mean to be on our team?
What do we do?
If BRCC was a person, how would you describe them?
We came up with so many answers…it was almost overwhelming. How do we build a brand that says that we support survivors & educate the community & fight systems of oppression & collaborate & have hard conversations & remind folks of their strength & act as an advocate & organize stakeholders &….the list went on and on. How do we demonstrate that we do all of this, in all of our counties, to all types of people?
We thought about it for weeks, proposed new names, shot down new names, and finally settled on one that we were ready to present to our stakeholders: Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center. While the “sexual violence resource center” part is pretty self explanatory, “Ampersand” needs a little more support. This organization does so many different things, in so many different places, with so many different people. The ampersand, or the & symbol (don’t worry, some of us had to google it, too), seemed like the ideal representation of all of the intersections we work within. It’s catchy, it’s unique, and it’s going to spark a question. Folks who aren’t familiar with the agency are going to be curious. You see this symbol everywhere (even on your keyboard, as one staff member pointed out).
Now our hope is that when you think of this organization you don’t think of it in a silo, but as a group of individuals, partners, and communities who are all working to create a culture free from sexual violence in a myriad of different ways. And hopefully, when you see our name, you feel like it’s your name, too.