What's in a Name?
In the two years prior to launching the new brand, the organization's leadership talked with its staff, board and donors to hear their viewpoints on the change and foster dialogue. Focus-group research led it to settle on the name ChildFund International "because that was one name that really resonated with our supporters," Goddard says. "They really saw us as an international organization working in countries around the world." And it chose the color green — which communicates hope, she adds — as the hue for the new brand.
The organization held "lunch and learns" with staff and had board retreats to talk about the rebranding. After deciding on a logo — the word ChildFund, with the "i" in the shape of a small child — the organization held an internal campaign with staff to name the child depicted in the logo. Staff chose the name Watoto, which means "children" in Swahili. The organization gave staff new T-shirts and deemed them official business attire, and just before the new brand was official, had a week of farewell to its old name that involved a day of staff wearing the old CCF T-shirts, displaying memorabilia from that chapter in the organization's history in the lobby, and lowering the old flag and raising the new flag.
These activities, Goddard says, helped staff members feel that the work they had done as CCF was respected and invigorated them for the new chapter ahead for the organization. It also enabled the organization to anticipate questions that donors might have that it maybe hadn't thought of.
"We had a lot of equity in the old name, and we had a lot of attachment as individuals, and supporters did, too," Goddard says. "We feel it's not abandoning our past. We're building on our past. I think you need to recognize that, and we celebrated the accomplishments by showing all of the memorabilia around the office and different awards we had gotten over the years under our old name. You have to respect the past, which we certainly do … .