Philanthropic initiatives are often an important facet of many businesses and organizations. In working so closely with sororities and fraternities over the past few years it’s become very apparent that doing good and giving back are not just important facets but oftentimes the foundation on which the organization was built. Each house has a specific philanthropic mission and although the demographic served may overlap, the efforts and the non-profits promoted are rarely the same. For example, Alpha Sigma Alpha works with the Special Olympics and S. June Smith Center, while Alpha Delta Pi supports the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Gamma Phi Beta, the most recent sorority that we’ve had the opportunity to work with is focused on creating resiliency in girls.
Are you still struggling to understand what exactly it means to create resiliency in girls means? Unfortunately, the lack of a concrete definition was making it difficult for collegians and alumnae alike to express exactly how their philanthropy is making the world a better place. Acknowledging the concern, Gamma Phi Beta’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Maureen Walker enlisted our help in crafting a new name, logo, brochure, eblast, banner and power point template for the philanthropic effort.
Our design mission essentially required that we create a brand within the overarching Gamma Phi Beta brand that resonates more deeply with the 18-22 year-old demographic, while creating an emotional tug that leads to action. Sounds like a walk in the park, right? Sure, if that park happened to be connected to Mt. Everest. But, let’s not forget we bought our hiking shoes a long time ago. The naming exploration was the first step in the branding project. During this process, we made great use of the thesaurus as well as word associations. We talked through hundreds of phrases playing with combinations of words such as heart, confidence, strong, inspire. After several brainstorming sessions the name, “Building Strong Girls” was decided upon. Removing the hard-to-define word “resiliency” and creating an action-oriented phrase, the philanthropic message becomes clear. The naming team felt that when asked what Gamma Phi Beta’s philanthropic mission is, the response of “Building Strong Girls” would be easy to understand across all demographics and even more importantly an instantly engaging message.
With the name in place, we began crafting a logo mark that would be powerful and feminine, while complementing the main Gamma Phi Beta brand, but have the visual strength to stand on its own. Gamma Phi Beta’s core symbols of the horizon line and crescent moon were to be incorporated in the image as well as the color palette of pink and brown. The mark had to be as visually impactful. The design took a winding path before settling on a silhouette of a girl reaching for the sky. The crescent moon, horizon line and even carnations (the sorority flower) are pulled together to make a unique image that reflects a bright future for a strong girl.
With the cornerstone of the brand defined, the remaining marketing elements gleaned from the look and feel, creating a cohesive image across all mediums. The powerpoint, banner and eblast focused heavily on the bright colors and logo, while the brochure brought the message to life through pictures and poignant words.
The initiative initially launched in early July and we look forward to hearing the many stories of Gamma Phi Beta’s building strong girls.