Today’s business landscape is in the midst of massive change. All enterprises find themselves in unprecedented competitive environments. Traditional structures and operating methods are being challenged by shifts in culture and technology. This change creates new opportunity for innovation; creativity and design are now strategic imperatives.
Following are a few case studies of recent work in this arena:
Background | LightHawk is a 35-year old non-profit organization whose stated mission is to champion environmental protection through the unique perspective of flight. The organization mobilizes skilled volunteer pilots to fly environmental experts in their personal aircraft on planned missions over environmentally sensitive areas. Besides the generosity of their network of pilots, LightHawk relied exclusively on the support of donors to fund their operations.
Problem | The organization was structured to serve its volunteers and beneficiaries, limiting their ability to make significant direct impact. And funding to sustain the organization was proving to get ever harder to come by. To help really move the needle, the organization needed to change its model, which by now had earned the unfortunate moniker of “free air taxi service”.
Solution | Reorient the organization from being Mission-driven to Purpose-led; from a facilitator of aerial missions to a storyteller transforming hearts and minds through illuminating visuals and scientific epiphanies. This change in strategy would be activated by fostering a community of expert storytellers: photographers and videographers, writers and producers, to augment their network of pilots and scientists to create uniquely inspiring content. This transformation strategy was anchored by a true line: Changing the way the world sees the earth. The reorientation aligns with many corporate social responsibility initiatives, opening up tremendous sponsorship opportunities for LightHawk. The content will also engage the broader public to provoke positive behavior change towards the environment.
Team members: Laurie Kirkegaard, James Kirkegaard, Zia Khan
LITERACY FOR ALL
Background | In the US, the national literacy rate has not changed in 10 years. Fourteen percent of Americans—32 million people–are hampered by low literacy. In metro Atlanta alone, 900,000 adults are functionally illiterate—up from 680,000 in 2000.
Problem | Low literacy is invisible and largely misunderstood. Moreover, it cannot compete with the urgency of other causes (e.g. cancer, homelessness, etc.) for attention or money using traditional marketing methods.
Solution | Reframe the problem from ‘How can we call attention to low literacy?’ to ‘How do we engage the nation in a movement to improve literacy for all?’ Thus, Literacy for All became the idea that would be branded and shared across the many stakeholders.
The two-part marketing strategy:
1. Develop partnerships with large consumer brands and institutions that have a relevant connection to the Literacy for All idea and can leverage its campaign as a part of their corporate responsibility/cause marketing efforts.
2. Design engagement campaigns, like word games, apps, vocabulary competitions, etc., for greater participation and better response.
Team members: Matt Rollins, Ben Friedman, Zia Khan
UPDATE (July 2017): Our original idea is now a reality – manifesting itself as a namesake organization whose vision is to make Georgia 100% literate. Above is the new brand identity, with a public campaign to follow soon. Learn more here: http://www.literacyforallfund.org