A couple of years back, we were introduced to Avalon - an organisation with a 44-year history of supporting people with disabilities in the Bay of Plenty (BOP).
At it's inception in 1976, Avalon (then Equality BOP) provided employment of people with disabilities to support the burgeoning local kiwifruit industry. Over the years, the organisation transitioned several times from a sheltered workshop to day service. In 2015 it shifted again, to a modern service model focused on supporting people who encounter barriers to inclusion, to live a life of value within their community.
It was this last transition that sparked our involvement as part of a broader strategic and operational team.
Avalon was facing a conundrum: the name Avalon had provenance.
It had helped hundreds in the BOP, but that help was suffused with meaning and associations from a time past. Meanings that no longer aligned with the spirit and direction of the modern service model. The question was - should they opt for a brand refresh, or take the leap and rename this decades-old body?
The decision to change the name of an organisation with such history can’t (and should never) be underestimated: the stakeholder group was wide and all, from the team to the broader community, had a vested interest and relied on Avalon: the historical and current models, in different ways.
SO WHAT DID WE DO?
The most important part of a brand update – in any organisation – is knowing why. Having a strong purpose statement about who you are, why and what you do matters to your target audience.
It was because of Avalon’s strong vision and articulation of ‘their why’ that we landed on the need for a new name. We committed to bringing the ‘community’ along on the journey.
So a new name was born. A name that was brand-stormed by the entire team and whittled out of a list of hundreds. A name that reflected the goals for the future, that built on the work of the past but equally stood on its own. The team landed on Momenta: the plural of momentum – the act of continuously moving forward.
The brand ‘why’ informed the brand name; the vision informed the direction. The respect for the brand’s history informed the approach.
The result is a beautifully designed visual identity and an organisation that launched fresh to market with its mana in tact, if not strengthened by the exercise and the leadership involved.
On the surface brand updates can feel like an easy win. However it often takes more than a lick of paint and new copy to refresh the associations that surround a brand.
A brand update is about fairly and truly representing your why – your vision. It’s about ensuring that everything from your moniker, to your position in market, to the images you use to communicate change. Or in the case of Momenta, to communicate movement.
P.S. We’re incredibly proud to have been part of the Momenta journey: it is the epitome of effective, quiet leadership, innovative thinking and deep empathy, driving change and social impact.