12/12/2006 - 22:00

Not for profit: Rebranding good for business

12/12/2006 - 22:00


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Rebranding may be an expensive exercise for many in the not-for-profit sector, but some organisations have recognised a clear cost benefit for doing so.

Not for profit: Rebranding good for business

Rebranding may be an expensive exercise for many in the not-for-profit sector, but some organisations have recognised a clear cost benefit for doing so.


Creating a more modern image, clarifying messages and communicating new services are the primary reasons cited by not-for-profit groups for rebranding, with the ultimate goal being to grow the business. 


For some organisations, a new logo is sufficient to achieve these aims, as it was for disability employment and care provider, Westcare.


Westcare chief executive officer Peter Beaton said the organisation realised it needed to create a more modern image, to reflect organisational change.


“In the last few years we’ve undergone some quite significant changes, both in terms of service to people with disabilities we look after and in terms of the commercialisation of our businesses,” he said.


The organisation decided to create a new logo, researched and designed in-house by staff, with the Westcare name and mission retained.


“Because Westcare runs a significant printing business within the organisation…everything was done in-house at minimum cost,” Mr Beaton said.


“People within the organisation can see we’re quite serious about making progress in a commercial sense.


“From a business point of view, we are looking to be far more professional. Our businesses will compete in the commercial arena, and therefore we have to provide an image and service that will be the equal of any other business.”


Other organisations find they are restricted by an outdated name and elect to change their brand this way, as did the Lung Institute of Western Australia (LIWA).


Formally the Asthma and Allergy Research Institute (AARI), LIWA officially introduced its new title this month, to reflect an expansion of its activities.


LIWA director Professor Philip Thompson said that, while the institute was initially researching asthma and its link with allergy, the scope of the institute’s research began to widen over time, covering other lung diseases.


“After a while it became clear that we were missing out on interacting with other research groups, like lung cancer and emphysema groups,” Professor Thompson said.


“We felt we needed to tell the world we had moved on and now embraced all lung diseases.


“I think the other motivation for changing the name was that we thought it was a great opportunity to try and grow the business.


“For us, it’s become a catalyst to get more activities on board, get more people involved, form new partnerships.”


Professor Thompson said although there was an ongoing strategy in place to raise profile following the name change, the redevelopment of LIWA’s website had been the immediate priority. 


The Sir James McCusker Training Foundation was also inspired by a need to modernise its image and grow the business when it changed its name to McCusker Learning and Development earlier this year.


MLD general manager Bruce Macadam said the name change was instigated following market research that found community awareness of the organisation was lacking in some areas.


“Our research had shown we were well-known about only one product – we needed to tell people about our range of services,” Mr Macadam said.


“We changed our brand and name because we wanted to present a fresh message; we wanted to be able to reinstate ourselves to existing and previous customers and talk about our different image.


“Basically, what we wanted to was talk about was the training offered, particularly the benefits and range of products.”


Mr Macadam said the organisation was keen to preserve the McCusker name as a link to its heritage, but wanted to use modern terminology regarding learning and development.



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