United Way does a great deal of good, but in order to reach Austinites (and boost donations) they needed to prove that they make Austin a better place. People want to make an impact locally and see the change in their neighborhood—and boy did we change the neighborhood.
The perception was that United Way accepted donations locally and sent the money across the country and around the world. It was getting harder to sustain donation levels in Austin as fewer and fewer people were familiar with United Way and the work it does.
The first step in re-engaging the public was to let them know that money donated locally stayed local.
To help prove this, we gave United Way a new localized look to go along with their name change: United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX). We developed a brand and identity that had a street-level quality to it—with vibrant colors, bold graphics, and handwritten type reminiscent of the food trucks and street murals in Austin.
Once we had the new look locked, we developed complete brand guidelines and a series of templates that the United Way for Greater Austin marketing staff could use on an ongoing basis to create reports, social posts, and infographics. These templates kept cost down for the nonprofit agency, while allowing them to continue to tell their story consistently and show the impact they were having in Austin.
We felt the best way to introduce the new United Way name and brand—while proving that they were part of the local community—was to let Austinites in on the fun, allowing them to proclaim what they think makes Austin greater.
With the “Makes Austin Greater” brand campaign, we tied all of the great things about Austin directly to United Way for Greater Austin, while getting people familiar with the new name. It also gave United Way the freedom to incorporate the message into their corporate giving and volunteering efforts.
We were then able to take this community voice and love of Austin and transmit it throughout the area with a full advertising campaign that included print advertising, targeted online banner ads, bus wraps, and other placements designed to reach Austinites.
We armed every board member with a brand pocket guide for quick reference before public speaking events, important donor meetings, or other networking opportunities. It allowed them to stay on message and speak in the new United Way for Greater Austin voice.
As part of the new brand and to celebrate our partnership, we wanted to help UWATX send our great city a love letter. We also wanted to prove that, with everything it does, United Way has a real impact on the city. So we donated our design skills and time to add a community art piece to the United Way for Greater Austin building. This is known as the "You're My Butter Half" mural and has become a tourist destination for locals and visitors alike.