In this case, the opportunity arose when we were chosen to rebrand the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Philadelphia (the UCP being one of the most recognized health nonprofits in the U.S.).
A National Organization is Born
Born as a national organization in 1949, additional UCP affiliates soon opened across the country quickly establishing the organization.
As noted on the UCP headquarters’ website:
“In 1948, Leonard H. Goldenson, then-President of United Paramount Theaters and ABC Television, and his wife, Isabelle, joined forces with prominent New York businessman Jack Hausman, and his wife, Ethel, to improve the quality of life for their children with cerebral palsy and for others like them. The two families placed an advertisement in the New York Herald Tribune to recruit families interested in improving available services to children with disabilities so that families could stay together, and people with disabilities could be part of the community.”
Philadelphia Freedom Starts Its Own Cause
A few years earlier in 1946 in Philadelphia, six parents came together to make a better life for their children who had been born with cerebral palsy.
Initially called the Cerebral Palsy Society, the group embarked on fundraising campaigns to help support direct care services and spread awareness of cerebral palsy, its causes, and its effects.
In 1950, this young organization became affiliated with the national United Cerebral Palsy Association and changed its name.
70 Years Young
Fast forward 70 years and the organization has evolved and grown expanding its scope, its impact on the community and the breadth of their services enabling them to help children and adults in ways not previously possible.
With this expanded scope, it was time to embrace this new phase era in the organization’s growth with a new name, a fresh face and a new position to clearly articulate where the organization is headed as distinct from where it’s been.
“Rebranding an organization with a 70 year history is not done lightly. We cautiously started this rebrand project, but enthusiastically embraced the result. David took his time to visit and interview volunteers, staff and clients to really understand the work we do. His insights gave clarity to where we were headed, seeing our culture in a way we didn’t see simply because when you’re close to it everyday, it’s easy to overlook the biggest distinctions that are right there, ‘hiding in plain sight.’ Thanks to that objectivity, guidance and vision, we came through this process with a stunning new brand solution that respects our history while embracing our future.”
Paula Czyzewski, CEO, Blossom Philadelphia
Developing the name
The rebrand of any organization is important.
When it’s part of a 70-year tradition, it takes on a new level of significance.
Part of the rebrand discovery here was fully understanding the depth to which “blurring the lines that divide us” existed in every part of the organizational culture, something I witnessed firsthand during a visit.
The other facet was acknowledging the potential innate in every person.
Lastly, there was an important concept to capture: helping each client become as independent as they are capable of being as conveyed here in this excerpt from their brand story we developed (a vitally important step for every brand or rebrand):
Now That We Had a Voice, We Needed Lyrics and a Melody
The next step (after the story) was nailing down the name and the slogan.
The new name grew organically from the core concept of helping each individual—helping them blossom—and the factor of helping them gain a firm foundation for their lives.
The last detail was the fact that they are based in Philadelphia, the home of independence for America.
Here is the before and the after followed by the developmental documents showing the evolution of this remarkable transformation:
Here is the logo animated (motion is an important part of identity development in today’s noisy world, as covered here):
Here is the pattern created for social media headers:
Here s the brand color palette as part of the Brand Vocabulary:
Here are some other applications of the new brand:
Here are the business card and signage applications:
This rebrand followed the proven roadmap to building a successful brand.
Want to see the six steps that make up that roadmap? Download it here.