Serving up a Rebrand to Nourish Neighbors in Need

  • Categories:

    Community, Creative, Brand Strategy

  • Date:

    February 20, 2024

Serving up a Rebrand to Nourish Neighbors in Need

Community Creative Brand Strategy

Witnessing ideas come to life is one of the great joys of marketing. What makes those wins all the more sweet is when they’re done for a good cause.

As chair of EmpoWWer, Wray Ward’s service-grant program supporting 501(c)(3) community initiatives, I’ve watched our agency donate time, resources and ideas to more than a dozen Charlotte-area nonprofit organizations over the years, including Mecklenburg County’s largest organization dedicated to ending food insecurity.

Now known as Nourish Up, this network of food pantries and meal delivery organization emerged from the union of two long-standing nonprofits — Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays — due to their shared mission to combat food insecurity. This set the stage for a new chapter in the organization’s journey. So, in 2021, they applied for an EmpoWWer grant in hopes of developing one unified brand that would carry their mission into the future.

After a completed building renovation, the Nourish Up brand that Wray Ward helped establish during our EmpoWWer partnership in 2022 has launched, giving us goosebumps and leaving us reminiscing about a wonderful partnership.

The Branding Challenge

In late 2021, the merger of Loaves & Fishes and Friendship Trays created a powerhouse for combating food insecurity. And yet, the challenge to embody a vision for the future through one clear brand remained. In fact, from a brand perspective, it was quite literally a merged organization: The logo consisted of the two former organizations’ logos side by side, and the temporary name was “Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays.”

When the Nourish Up team applied for an EmpoWWer service grant, they knew what they wanted — they just needed help getting there. They hoped to empower individuals receiving meals and groceries to take ownership of their well-being rather than feel as though they were receiving handouts. They charged Wray Ward to infuse the reimagined brand with its mission and values: nourishment and dignity.

With this information, we got to work.

Wray Ward was challenged to provide Nourish Up with:

  • A new name

  • A new logo and branding

  • Branding guidelines

  • Branding applications

We also conducted extensive stakeholder interviews to understand the legacy of the former organizations, each of which dated back over 40 years. With Nourish Up’s extensive impact and its history serving the community, we needed to nail the rebrand.

Crafting a New Identity

Working with Nourish Up was akin to working with a dream client. The team was collaborative and passionate; the work was comprehensive and productive.

“From our very first meeting, the team’s creative energy, excitement and dedication to this project was palpable,” said Nourish Up CEO Tina Postel. “The process to create a new name, logo and overall brand was thoughtful, intentional and inclusive.”

Naming Nourish Up

Using what we knew about Nourish Up’s values and vision for their brand as guideposts, our Creative team iterated dozens of names and grouped them by concept, such as:

  • Nourishment

  • Immediacy

  • Fresh start

  • Transaction from hand to hand

  • Utensils

After narrowing their ideas, the team presented more than 15 name possibilities. The winner — Nourish Up — would inform the entire future brand.

Concepting the Brand

Because treating others with dignity is at the core of Nourish Up’s work, it was important to develop a logo that visually infuses humanity into the organization’s branding. Kelly Gilbert, a designer at Wray Ward who had a heavy hand in the project, explained the inspiration behind the design of the Nourish Up logo and brand elements:

“Nourish Up is powered by collaboration and donations from people and organizations. Therefore, the united N and U in the logo emphasize the importance of that collaboration. The slight imperfections and organic shapes in the logo speak to fruits and vegetables, while rounded lines give it a friendly and approachable feeling. The warm colors reinforce the connotation of receiving a warm and nutritious meal, while the line passing through shows the ongoing journey of development and impact and the organization’s progressiveness.”

Our client’s feedback reflected the general sentiment surrounding the work.

“The EmpoWWer program not only gave us a beautiful new brand; it took us to a whole new level,” she said. “As a nonprofit, we could never have pulled off a project of this magnitude on our own.”

Brand Launch and Impact

When Nourish Up unveiled its new identity to the public during a press conference in January 2024, those of us at Wray Ward who supported the project felt a palpable sense of the culmination of months of collaboration and creativity.

There, surrounded by meal delivery trucks plastered with our designs, I was reminded once again of the transformative power of branding done well and its role in community engagement. Nonprofit organizations such as Nourish Up have a powerful story to tell, and I’m honored to play a small role.

By leveraging Wray Ward’s gifts of talent and time, Nourish Up not only redefined its identity but also reaffirmed its commitment to serving those in need. And, with 128,261 meals delivered and 137,806 people receiving groceries from Nourish Up in 2023, we know that commitment will continue to empower neighbors in need for years to come.

“The EmpoWWer program does just that: empower nonprofits to reach their full potential. Through this program, Wray Ward gives nonprofits critical access to professional marketing services that are often perceived as a luxury only afforded to large corporations.” –Tina Postel, CEO, Nourish Up

Get Involved With Nourish Up

There are countless opportunities to get involved and support Nourish Up’s mission of feeding communities. To learn about donating time, funds, food and more, visit the Nourish Up website.

Intrigued by Wray Ward’s service-grant program? Learn more about EmpoWWer.

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