Energy and Environment
Merging Two Brands into a New Look and Direction
Brand Identity and Messaging Development, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 2007
In June 2007, the Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI) and the Consortium for Ocean Research and Education (CORE) merged and became the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (Ocean Leadership). This new organization sought a fresh brand identify that communicated its shared purpose and direction to staff, members and external audiences.
Challenge: Vanguard was charged with creating a new brand that reflected both former organizations, as well as the combined programmatic areas – research, advocacy and education – of the new Ocean Leadership organization.
- Ocean Leadership staff carried a great deal of uncertainty about the structure and direction of the new organization. This uncertainty also extended to the membership, who were anxious for greater clarity about the future of their programs.
- The new brand identity, including a logo and tagline, needed to resonate strongly with staff and members from both organizations.
Innovations: Vanguard created a new brand for Ocean Leadership that incorporated a design element from each of the prior organizations and prepared talking points to explain the new brand, mission and vision to internal and external audiences.
- Based on research from staff, members and key audiences, it was important that the new brand reflect the past as well as the new future for the merged organization.
- Vanguard developed the Ocean Leadership logo using a wave graphic element from the CORE logo and the crest from the JOI logo.
- Vanguard drafted talking points for how the merger and new organization would be explained to others and hosted a series of trainings for staff to both discuss the brand and review new messaging.
Results: Ocean Leadership’s new brand – and the merger overall – was well-received by all and helped start the organization on the right footing.
- Ocean Leadership staff members loved the symbolism behind the new logo, particularly that it kept some elements of the CORE and JOI logos and merged them with a unified vision.
- Staff members were so excited about the new identity that a “goodbye party” was held for the CORE and JOI brands, where participants symbolically shredded their CORE and JOI materials and received their new Ocean Leadership stationery.