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Telling a brand’s story of compassion and strength

Telling a brand’s story of compassion and strength

In late 2019, the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation approached NATIONAL to help with the challenge of making their brand even more relevant and meaningful to a broader audience. Wellspring is an organization that provides a wide range of non-clinical support for Canadians living with cancer, with centres across Ontario and Alberta.

Shortly after they began the rebrand process, they witnessed a transformation in their services as they shifted many programs from in-person to online and began to deliver various programs virtually. This came as Canada was entering a digital revolution which would eventually be accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Wanting to leverage this historic shift for their foundation, and how it supports its clients, Wellspring initiated the process for a new external look and feel that would define them moving forward. They were also looking for this rebrand to help support their efforts to engage a broader audience including new volunteers, new members, members of the referring medical community and a vital stakeholder: donors.

NATIONAL was tasked with helping to create a new tagline, logo and select images for their website. To inform the rebrand creative process, Wellspring sought input and insights from its most valuable audiences—those living with cancer and those who support and care for them. NATIONAL facilitated focus groups both in-person and online with Wellspring members, volunteers, staff, and affiliates. The goal was to have an honest conversation about what the foundation meant to the people in these groups and how this could be reflected in its visual identity.

The interviews provided useful feedback and helped NATIONAL in establishing an understanding of how different audiences perceived Wellspring and how a new brand and identity could shift these perceptions forward. Key feedback obtained from the interviews indicated a desire for new imagery that promoted a sense of community, diversity, and interpersonal connection. Of the proposed logos and taglines presented, the logo reminiscent of an “embrace” was received more warmly and perceived as a feeling many members identified with when accessing Wellspring’s services. The tagline was flipped on its head from “A Lifeline to Cancer Support” which many indicated made Wellspring appear as a clinical service, to “Where Compassion and Strength Endure” which presented Wellspring and its members as more empowered along with promoting a message of strength and warmth for these individuals and their families in their journey with cancer.

With these insights in mind, NATIONAL wanted to build on the history and strength of the brand, while updating some key visual features. By modifying the logo to a more modern treatment and including more lifestyle imagery on the site, the new design and tagline aimed to give Wellspring a new face and voice helping it send a message to current members while appealing to those learning about the foundation for the first time. NATIONAL also helped in identifying stock imagery that supported the new brand and helped tell the story of Wellspring, its history and where it’s headed.

The program was a success with NATIONAL’s digital and design teams producing a new logo, tagline and images that could be used on the website and across other digital and social media channels. The new designs were presented to Wellspring’s Board in 2020 with overwhelming praise and support for the initiative. In fall 2021, the new visual assets were shared with all Wellspring centres across Canada so that the brand can continue to be brought to life.

The COVID-19 pandemic gave some across Canada the opportunity to reflect on the difference they want to make in the world. For Wellspring, this was an ideal time to create positive changes for the brand and NATIONAL is privileged to have been able to help them in this process.

Some of the campaign visuals: