Redefining a legacy
Aaron Lewis Foundation // Rebrand
In December 2008, Lt. Aaron Lewis of 29 Commando batallion was killed in action in Afghanistan - on his first deployment, he was just 26 years old.
In the year following his death, friends and family raised over £100,000 for a number of military causes, which inspired the idea of creating a single, united cause to raise funds for local children's causes and ex-military personnel.
As the foundation celebrated their tenth year - having exceed all fund-raising expectations, and helping causes not just locally, but on a national level - the ambitions of the trustees and supporters were raised, and needed a strong strategic and creative platform to support this.
We have heart
At the start of the process trustees, fundraisers and supporters of the ALF were consulted to provide feedback on the foundation, and how they felt about and interacted with the brand.
The feedback provided informed the purpose, values and personality of the brand, which in turn formed the strategic platform of 'having heart'.
For the ALF, 'having heart' means having both passion (for what you do) and compassion (for others), and an underlying commitment to making a difference.
Refreshing the identity
A full assessment of the ALF brand identity was undertaken - from fonts and colours, to layout and crests.
Central to the identity was the unique 'pulse' graphic - a visual representation of the unexpected reach of the Foundation and it's initiatives.
The colourways chosen for the foundation represent Aaron's two great loves; Westcliff Rugby Club (maroon) and the army (green).
Two variants of each colour have been selected to provide depth and flexibility in usage across the many different initiatives the foundation provides.
The ALF is a web-first brand, in that they communicate with their audience primarily through their website and social media channels.
For consistency, it was crucial that a readily available, web-safe font was used across all communications. Proxima Nova was chosen because of the range of weights available allowed for flexibility and longevity, and also because it's modern, geometric form gave a stylistic nod to classic sans serif fonts.
Bringing the brand to life
With the brand toolkit and guidelines in place, the new visual identity was first applied to the foundations core stationery, social media channels and apparel.
The brand platform is at the centre of a campaign in the local area, local press and social media channels celebrates some of the key stories and initiatives that the foundation has been responsible for.
These stories include a young boy who lost a leg to cancer now aspiring to be a Paralympian thanks to the input of the ALF, and an injured military veteran competing at the Invictus Games thanks to the foundation funding his racing wheelchair.
The community showpiece
The ALF10s is the foundation's showcase event, that every year brings together 10s rugby teams from across Europe to compete in a two-day post-season tournament. The tournament continues to grow and surpass it's fundraising efforts year-on-year, and has become one of the staple sporting events in the South East sporting calendar.
Following the rebrand of the ALF, the identity of the tournament was brought in line with the master brand, creating it’s own distinct tone of voice and interpretation of the master assets.
Applications of the identity are carried across every touchpoint from social media advertising and build-up, matchday equipment and apparel, programmes, sponsorship decks and merchandise.
In the year following the rebrand, engagement and reach with the brand had increased by 300% largely through the increased followings on the Foundation's social media channels. Visits to the website had increased by 150%, and brand presence at sporting events such as the Brighton Marathon and Southend Half Marathon increased interest in fundraising enquiries for future events.
The Foundation experienced their most successful year to date, thanks to an increase in personal donations, as well as several one-off fundraising events organised by the trustees.
With a more structured approach to marketing, sponsorship & fundraising, the ALF10s tournament experienced it’s most successful year with a record amount of monies raised, and an increase of 10% following on social media channels. Engagement with social posts increased by 50% on the previous year, providing title sponsors with an increased audience of 800% on the official charity following.