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Agency pulls all nighter for nonprofit rebrand

Twin Cities Business / Apr 10, 2015

In the nonprofit world, branding is a cumbersome task – it involves countless meetings, approvals that need to work their way up the bureaucratic ladder and cost a hefty amount in a notoriously cash-strapped field.

That was the case for Magic Arms for the World. It’s a nonprofit with a noble mission: helping kids with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a rare physical disability, move their arms for the first time with a 3D-printed device called WREX. Despite a heart-wrenching video, getting the message out without a brand proved difficult.

That’s where StoneArch steps in.

The Minneapolis-based creative agency—with clients like St. Jude Medical and 3M—hosted its third annual RedEye Rebrand. The challenge takes one nonprofit and gives them a complete makeover, pro bono. The twist? StoneArch’s team has to complete the task in 24 hours.

It’s a space that more and more agencies are flocking to as part of their pro bono services. The Nerdery, a Bloomington-based web design company, hosts a similar 24 Hour Website Challenge for nonprofits every year.

“It gets everyone on our staff and in the nonprofit really energized,” StoneArch CEO Jerrold Gershone said. “And the Rebrand challenge really lets us makes decisions quickly without going through layers of approval.”

The scope of the challenge is all encompassing: The team produced positioning statements, marketing communication recommendations, refreshed the logo, create a new brand identity, rebuilt the website and designed brochures, business cards and letterheads.

Gershone said the reveal at the end of the challenge was an emotional one, in no small part because of how life changing the actual product can be. While devices similar to the WREX existed for children with AMC, they were stationary, too heavy or simply expensive. Magic Arms’ 3D-printed device is much cheaper and allows for quick repairs or replacement should a part break or the child outgrows it.

In addition to mission, the organization’s size was another reason StoneArch provided these services.

“They’re not too far along so our efforts can help, and they’re not too big that they’re agile enough for us to work with them,” Gershone said. “This is a disease that doesn’t get much attention because so few kids have it, so we were really happy to help.”