In the last few months, four of Independent Sector’s members announced rebranding of their organizations. One such announcement came from Prosperity Now (formerly known as CFED). To share more about their brand refresh, and help us understand what a spate of rebrands might signal for the sector at large, we spoke with Prosperity Now Director of Communications, Kristin Lawton.
JB: Most basically, why rebrand?
KL: As our work has evolved over the 35+ years since our founding, we knew that our name no longer conveyed the impact we were striving for, and—at times—the name CFED was working against us as an acronym. With the issues we care about commanding more attention than ever before, we felt now was the time to ensure our name is clear, concise, and aspirational. ‘Prosperity’ is synonymous with a healthier and more fulfilling life, which starts with helping people save, build wealth, and climb the economic ladder.
JB: When and where did the rebrand process begin? Did any external or internal factors expedite or delay the process?
KL: We started talking rebrand during our last strategic planning process for the 2015-2018 plan. We did a lot of research, interviews with staff and stakeholders, and planning the first couple of years. We really kicked off the work after our 2016 Assets Learning Conference last fall when we had the time and capacity to focus on it. We had also just kicked off a website redesign which was planned to coincide with the launch of the rebrand. So the timing of our launch really came down to when the website would be ready for the public!
JB: Do you think the season of rebranding is a trend unique to DC-based groups? What, if anything, do you think a rebrand might signal for the broader sector we work in?
KL: I didn’t think it was a trend, but now that you mention it, there are a number of nonprofits I know that have switched or are thinking about it in the near future. And from those I know, I don’t think it’s just a DC trend. I think it signals a need for stronger, concise messaging. There are so many important issues pulling people in so many different directions and the 24-hour news cycle becoming more minute-by-minute with social media and news alerts on your phone—it just makes for a lot of noise. People need to understand what your organization’s focus is right away, remember the name, and hopefully be inspired by it. An acronym (or long complicated name) just doesn’t do the trick anymore.