Redefining a brand proposition to unite audiences in an increasingly polarized society
The ONE Campaign is an international non-profit advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease by raising public awareness and building momentum on political leaders to support policies and programs that will save lives and improve futures.
ONE were keen to consider how a global campaign could create new leads and overcome supporter fatigue to create a rejuvenated platform for change.
After a competitive process Blue State was appointed to help them consider what that could look like. We wanted to start by spending time with both the organisation and its supporters to understand the current view as well as future vision and ambition.
Getting to the right brief – the role of supporters
It quickly became clear that a campaign wasn’t perhaps the right fix at this stage and instead we all needed to come together to consider in greater detail – what the role of supporters was. Why did they want to partner with us? What did they care about? What could and should we work together to achieve against the issues that matter?
There was a concern that relevancy could be lost if activity continued ‘as usual’. What was needed was a stronger sense of who these audiences were and what they could be part of. Particularly in the broader context of society – where we were seeing a fatigue of movements, growing cynicism of progress/ what happens next and if their actions were making a difference.
So where to start? By talking to people of course. We worked with internal stakeholders across global campaigns, digital, comms, content and policy across the UK, US, Canada, Nigeria, France, Germany and the broader EU and spoke to existing and new audiences. We uncovered three key themes to shape the path forward: relevancy, legitimacy and impact.
We also delved into the broader landscape and like-minded organizations to help us start to consider the positioning and identity of ONE. Looking at not just their purpose but the roles and ways they were engaging to build momentum, advocacy and authentic relationships with supporters.
Lifting the lid and including supporters in the process
The process revealed how much value supporters could offer if we found and created the right ways for ONE to partner with them. This involved a shift away from the top-down supporter model towards something more dynamic and inclusive.
We wanted supporters to understand what ONE were working on and areas they were creating impact in and how this aligned with supporter passions and causes they wanted to help be a part of the change in. This allowed us to create a framework for internal & external actions across key themes.
From talking to supporters and new audiences we also realized that by following the actions they took and showing them the impact they’d had as well as highlighting how, as a collective, they were part of a larger unit creating change – we would be able to encourage our audience to take part and do more to feel part of the ONE community.
With a strong framework (relevancy, legitimacy and impact) and a raft of potential actions the ONE team set about applying these learnings and transforming the way they engaged supporters.
Several tests run by the ONE team confirmed the findings and recommendations provided. In particular, more rapid response actions helped demonstrate the relevancy to supporters, netting strong action rates and a new “explainer” email that lifted the lid on ONE’s campaign strategy proved hugely successful.
The work with the supporter base then went in-house and has led to further analysis of the blockages to good engagement and a cross-organisational project that is delivering new best practice assets and resources including new supporter journeys, more rapid response campaigning and ways to bring supporters into the heart of the planning process.
A global proposition
As this work continued, we needed to consider how to widen ONE’s supporter network and their possible reach by building in the passion points and pop culture moments that were engaging audiences with the issues and change areas ONE were seeking to make impact in.
Our work took us to the need for a proposition – an expression of ONE: who they were, what they stood for and how they expressed themselves to build meaningful relationships.
In true Blue State mentality, this was a collaborative co-created model to get to the end product. We did a number of global workshops to shape what it could look like:
Outlining the challenge and objectives for the future
Creating the territories
Aligning on the chosen route
Working across countries including the US, Germany and Nigeria, we considered a few areas we could explore before refining these down to the most compelling route.
Introducing Relentless Determination
The organisation that gives you hope. Relentless Determination is brought boldly to life with a sense of simplicity and ambition that describes what we believe in and want to change. Its sentiment consistently offers the reader a ‘tangible’ path to progress, where they are united in their values alongside a diverse and committed community of change-makers
Rob Trono, Group Creative Director, on the manifesto
Once we arrived at the chosen route, teams across the organization were excited to consider how it could come to life – the design team quickly started creating elements that helped us reinforce the potential of what this could help them achieve.
This route was informed at its core by an insight we had uncovered from audiences. The desire to ‘fight the system’ and, with that in mind, how we could create something that would allow us to push open doors versus breaking them down. We wanted to acknowledge that but also recognise true advocacy occurs when people come together with leaders to create the solutions and change we’re all seeking. This new proposition offered a uniting principle for ONE – ensuring each piece of content & every campaign came together under one collective purpose.
We considered how the proposition would and could come to life across key subject pillars: health, hunger, climate and equality.
Inspired by the proposition, the ONE team developed multichannel executions and motion elements that considered how ONE would use such a proposition to equip their supporters to organize for change.
We considered how the proposition would be best adapted to both external and internal audiences: new audiences, supporters and global activists, funders, decision makers and partners.
We also needed to look at how such a proposition would be crafted across campaigns, which are essentially long stories taking audiences on a journey from awareness to education then action and impact.
Before we wrapped up the project, our final workshop sessions were with teams in Germany and Nigeria to consider how best to pilot the proposition and to empower individuals across the whole global organisation by setting up brand guardians who could best advocate for the proposition and its meaning, vision and ambition.
This considered the adaptability of the proposition and principles to consider. We talked about the five things that shaped the personality: from boldness and perspective to persistence, unity and urgency. The latter was crucial in ensuring there was internal infrastructure that could create long term transformation across the ONE campaign.
Results so far
We’re so excited to see our proposition starting to make its way out into the world. We know audiences are responding positively.
Creative content which deploys the brand identity has proved very popular among ONE’s social audiences. Engagement rates (ER) of 13% and 19% have been seen on Facebook (a channel where ONE’s average ER is less than 1%). On Instagram, where ONE’s average ER is 4.5%, organic engagement for brand posts has regularly outperformed – reaching as high as 8-9% on occasion. Finally on X, short, punchy brand videos have outperformed for both average reach and engagements. One video had 320 organic engagements, which pushed it out to a total reach of over 10.6K on a channel which averages 2.3K reach per post.
The proposition we developed has shaped their new web platform informing how they structure information and talk about the organisation. And we’re proud to be continuing to partner with ONE on next steps including a brand film to energize existing supporters and reach new audiences.