Services: Brand research, brand identity development, logo and corporate visual identity, renaming and naming validation research.

Takeaway: Taking time to build your brand identity makes a big difference on the final brand and makes the naming process far more effective.

Story: Global Aid Network (GAiN USA) is a sub-brand of Cru and serves as their humanitarian arm working primarily in the areas of clean water, agriculture and critical aid. As part of an affiliation of GAiN entities worldwide, GAiN USA needed a name change to allow them to align better with the mission of Cru without affecting funding for other GAiN partners globally.

GAiN initially brought Brand:Wallop in for help in renaming based on our experience working with Cru on their renaming several years earlier. And as with Cru, we quickly realized that before we could move to a new name, we needed to refine the GAiN USA’s brand attributes to make them more distinctive and easier to communicate. Working with an excellent team of internal marketers, we built on their existing brand maintaining key equity points there, elevating some underused brand assets and adding some new ones. This new brand identity served as the foundation for the new name.

The naming process itself went through several rounds of workshops and name generation exercises resulting in over 700 potential names from which we selected ten finalists. Of those, the legal/trademark review eliminated seven. We tested the remaining three with both internal constituents and an external general donor file. While all three names performed well, research revealed that the name Unto resulted in people being more willing to give to the organization than either of the other two.

After unanimous board approval of the new name, we developed an entire corporate visual identity package for the organization. The new name launched in February 2020 and in its first test of receptivity to the new name, an acquisition mailing that remained exactly the same as the previous year except for the new name performed three times better than the previous year’s mailing. Often, it’s hard to isolate variables enough to test the impact of a rebrand or renaming. But in this case, the 300% increase in response was clearly attributed strictly to the new name.