ReCycle North, a non-profit based in Burlington, Vermont, began as one storefront in 1991. Over time, it grew from a single store front to a sizable organization that encompassed computer repair service, building material sales, youth job training, low-income vouchers, and appliance repair. With locations throughout Vermont and a diverse set of offerings, the name ReCycle North no longer reflected the scope of its services.
As a non-profit, ReCycle North worked within a limited budget. Brandthropology offered pro-bono consulting, rebranding, creative design, and web design services for ReCycle North. We conducted several focus groups to determine what the community knew about ReCycle North’s offerings and to determine their notoriety through Vermont.
We found that despite their broad offerings, most people in ReCycle North’s service area only knew of the original storefront. We also discovered that the word “ReCycle” created confusion, making people think of blue recycling bins and service pickups. Indeed, employees said local residents would call when their recycling bins weren’t picked up! Finally, as a non-profit group, ReCycle North gets some of its income from federal grants; the confusing name made it harder to get awarded funding. Obviously, the name wasn’t working out. Brandthropology developed a segmented branding strategy that indentified the organization with a “Re” symbol, which would apply throughout the brand. The brand’s umbrella name changed to “ReSource,” reflecting their role as a community resource with multiple functions: “ReLief” for low income voucher dispersal; “Retrain” for job and vocation training, “Rebuild” for the building materials center, “Repair” for the appliance repair shop, and “Restore” for the two retail store locations. By developing a brand ecosystem, the renaming brought coherence and a consistent theme throughout all of the organization’s functions.
Brandthropology developed a coherent identity kit, showcasing the uniqueness of each branch within ReSource while still keeping the name consistent. The identity kit included custom business cards, t-shirts, stationary, truck signs, exterior signs, brochures, temporary tattoos, public relations efforts resulting in television and print features, and a new website www.resourcevt.org.