Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rolling Out a New Look for Your Small Nonprofit

Maybe your logo's look takes viewers right back to the days of Miami Vice - all teal and purple with shadows reminiscent of neon or totally simplistic because at the time you had to design it yourself and you only had 6 typefaces to your name and a black laser printer. So you go out and get yourself a look more relevant to the time; something that reflects how your small NP has grown. Now you gotta present the change to the world. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Build it up with social media
  • Repeat, Repeat Repeat
  • Website, website, website
  • Follow-Up
  • Some people will hate it

Build It Up With Social Media

Get people excited about the change by introducing the topic ahead of time. Maybe you've gotten some comments about your visual branding - now's the time to trot them out and address them. Use hints, use a meme, if possible (what would Gordon Ramsay say about it?), then lead into an announcement about the coming change. Allude to the reasons for the change and what you hope to accomplish with it, but save the details for the blog. Keep your tweets, FB posts, Pinterest pins short, intriguing, funny and link to the blog for details.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Remember the most of your followers are not on the same schedule as you. If you're using an auto-post application, set them to repeat the posts one or two a day at different times in the days leading up to the change. They should not dominate unless the visual brand change is a HUGE deal for you, but should be repeated to make sure they have more reach. And don't forget to ask people to pass the word along.

Website, Website, Website

A small nonprofit I know of had everything ready; stationery, signs, biz cards, roll-out events, etc., but the website wasn't done on time. This meant that their new domain had to have a redirect to their old site. Lame. Plus, some antivirus programs are set to shut down attempts to redirect to another site. I know you're busy making sure all of the people you've invited to the events can be there and you can't move the dates, but you might want to consider adding in some padding to the schedule for the build of the new website just to make sure, so that when you announce the new name, new site, the new site works.


As with the lead up to the roll-out of the new look, you need to repeat your posts about the changes to improve your reach and avoid WTH? comments from people who were on vacation or whose streams move faster. "Just a reminder - we have a new website:" And popular email addresses that have changed should also have reminders: "Contact Events Manager Susie at her new address -". Set the auto-posts as you did for the roll-out, a couple every day at different times. Hint: if you have analytics that tell you the time of day when most people view your posts, you're ahead of the game.

Some People Will Hate It

Just a fact. Some people hate change. No matter how many others LOVE the new look, there will be a few who dislike it intensely and aren't afraid to post comments saying so. Keep your replies simple as "Sorry you don't like it. Hope it will grow on you," and leave it at that. Post updates that highlight how the new look is working great (assuming it is), how versatile it is, how people are embracing it, why (almost) everyone thinks it's great. And for heaven's sake, DO NOT get into a public discussion trying to convince a hater that the new look is worthwhile. It won't do your relationship with that person - or your small nonprofit - any good.

Change is the only constant in the world. If your small nonprofit is making a visual change to the brand, keep these things in mind and hopefully you can present your shiny, new face with the confidence it deserves.


Ann Ostermann said...

I should have read this last Saturday before I went one on one with someone who didn't like our new logo...

Robyn McIntyre said...

Hey Ann - thanks for dropping by. Sorry I didn't write this post before your roll-out.