A new identity to support the growth of a not-for-profit

We worked with Hunter Homeless Connect (HHC) to redefine, clarify and evolve their brand. Collaborating with Michelle Faithfull (Hunter Homeless Connect Day Coordinator) and Jenn O’Sullivan (Chairperson) was a privilege. In the initial brand workshop we were able to uncover meaningful insights around the brand perception, cause stereotypes and organisational goals that need to be supported by the new identity.

Rebranding is always about growth, but often businesses and organisations overlook the insight phase assuming rebrands are simply a visual exercise. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Branding starts from the inside-out and being strategic in your approach to branding is essential. Insights around organisational purpose, values, truths and goals right through to customer psychology, needs, behaviour and journey all need to be explored before an effective brand can be developed – one that is actually going to take your organisation towards the kind of growth and impact you really want.

The new brand identity for Hunter Homeless Connect needed to help reposition the organisation, shift perceptions of homelessness and support future fundraising efforts.

Shifting perceptions

One of the issues HHC was facing coming into the project was the general misconception and common stereotype regarding homelessness present in the community. The story of the elderly, intoxicated, homeless male isn’t an accurate reflection of this very real issue that impacts people across the community of all ages and genders.

The brand needed to evolve to embody the humble, compassionate, relational, friendly and welcoming personality of HHC. It had to embody a simple optimism and intentionally associate a more inclusive and positive perception of people experiencing homelessness to help change stereotypes of homelessness in the community. To do that it had to convey feelings of hope, safety and connection.

Clarifying a message

When HHC first started out it was an event – held once a year, HHC Day fast became a very large collaboration of service providers coming together to support those in our community affected by homelessness. Today, HHC represents much more than an event – and that’s something that wasn’t clear to their audience. A clear brand architecture had to be established that defined the brand independent to its many initiatives, and clear messaging developed to ensure HHC was interpreted accurately by the market.

Building a brand story

Storytelling is a vital component for engaging people in your brand or cause. Humans remember and relate to stories, so it is the most effective way to get your message across. Your brand story should unfold across every experience your audience has with your brand to bring clarity and meaningful connection that builds trust.

People experiencing homelessness are people just like you and I. To connect a community, people need to relate to and find common ground with others. That’s what we focussed on in the brand story.

Homelessness can happen to anyone

Imagine for a minute that you had nowhere to live, nowhere to feel safe and nowhere to belong. It happens to families escaping domestic violence, young people leaving unstable homes, older people who lose employment or a loved one and every case in between. It could happen to you.

At Hunter Homeless Connect we believe that all people, regardless of their situation, should have the chance to improve their wellbeing and quality of life. We are a volunteer not-for-profit organisation whose mission is support people out of homelessness by connecting our community – and to shift societal perceptions of homelessness through positive education, events and resources.

For over a decade we have been connecting people to businesses and services that nurture independence, dignity and wellbeing. Supporting Hunter Homeless Connect is a great way to help in the delivery of vital services to those experiencing homelessness and those at risk in our community. Together we can reduce homelessness.

Home matters. Help matters. Hope matters.

“Our rebranding process was so easy and seamless thanks to the wonderful team at Mezzanine. They immediately tapped into the essence of who we are and what we do in the community and created a look and feel that captures us as an organisation, our mission and vision. Connecting the community, in an inclusive environment with zero judgement.” – Michelle Faithfull, Hunter Homeless Connect Day Coordinator