The aha! of rebranding

Posted: August 7, 2013

We know the for-profit world doesn’t hesitate to rebrand to keep up with changing times, markets, and technology. What of the nonprofit world? How often do organizations ask, Are we still the same org? Is our mission still relevant and accurate to what we really do on the ground, day in and day out? Does our name reflect us today and for the foreseeable future?

Wait. You may think this blog is about the benefits or perils of rebranding. It’s not, or at least not now. I’m confident there will be a blog about the benefits – though hopefully not the perils. Those questions are posed as food for thought as I indulge in a subject I don’t usually address: me.

Typically I blog about what I see and experience in my work with nonprofit organizations and insights I believe – hope, surely – can be of value to others in the challenging business of doing good. My purpose is still the same. What I’m sharing this time is personal because you are going to see my name more prominently starting very soon.Rebrand-Strategy

Drumroll: I’m changing my business name from Cause & Event to Susan J. Ragusa. This shift reflects more accurately how my work with nonprofits has evolved. Increasingly the expertise I provide is far more comprehensive than event planning.

More on that when my new website is unveiled in the coming weeks. My subject here is how I got to this place – the aha! moment that brought the wires together and ignited the (re)defining idea: it’s time to rebrand. And in recounting my own spark comes the offer of direction that might support nonprofits in need of a rebrand.

My aha! moment was actually a series of mini-aha’s that happened incrementally. The satisfaction from developing successful events for Cause & Event clients never waned. Yet I often felt a sense of déjà vu: organizations coming to me with similar requests, in a familiar hectic state of need. And ever more frequently, the aha! was the revelation that something larger was the niche to fill that could truly make a difference. Not organizing a bigger event but orchestrating a “big think” about the organization, its mission and goals, and how to achieve them; fine-tuning the myriad internal and external relationships that empower an organization’s success.

As I recognized these more structural needs, addressing them became more conspicuous in my planning strategies. My work was becoming broader and deeper than developing and organizing events to showcase and fundraise for great causes. I needed to realign. Cause&Event no longer fit my focus and services.

Rebranding is a kind of starting over from a position of strength. You might say I’m in the process of powering up. Join me by following my posts as I make this pivotal transition.