We celebrated our 10th anniversary on April 4th at the Culture Center in Charleston. This week marks the 10th in a series of blogs reflecting year-by-year on the history, moments, and people of the CAC movement in West Virginia. To start with the first entry, click here.
By 2015, the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network was rocking and rolling. We had a staff of 4 full time employees, a strong, diverse board, and 20 child advocacy centers – with 18 of them nationally accredited and 2 in the process. We had arrived! But one thing was lacking: a strong brand presence.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We had a decent logo, a website, and marketing materials. Many knew who we were and what our mission was. But there was a need to dig deep into our “why” and really strengthen our position in the state. We are a network of child advocacy centers throughout the state and needed people to connect the dots that we were a network – all working together.
As I wrote in a blog post last year, many people think a brand is a company’s logo or tagline, but a brand is goes far beyond the visual graphic. When you think of a company’s brand, think about the entire experience – every interaction you have with that organization. And how a customer perceives that organization is what makes up their brand.
So in 2015, working with our partners at Proof Branding, we spent time looking at ourselves and focusing on what our network does and what drives our statewide team each and every day. There are still many people in West Virginia that don’t know who we are or the transformative work of CACs. And we’re committed to changing that. WVCAN believes leveraging community is central to solving the issue of child abuse. But if your community doesn’t know who you are, then you’ll struggle to access its power to create a fundamental shift.
During the branding workshop, our staff went through a series of exercises to really dig into our “why.” We re-examined our voice in the movement and ultimately decided on giving new life to our visual identity. We freshened our website and its functionality, and we strengthened the connection between WVCAN’s statewide leadership and the 20 local centers who are part of the network. Our new logo has a rising sun. Our photos are of thriving children. We have sought to carry hope throughout our brand.
With a stronger brand position, we are now well-equipped to continue our mission of empowering children, restoring hope, and ending abuse. We’re legit.