The CWB Foundation for Children and Music was founded in 2009, when Ted Wender and Joe Berger, long-time friends and musicians, became increasingly concerned about the high number of public schools in New York City without funding for arts programs. Recognizing how essential music had been to them as kids, and how detrimental a lack of music can be to a child’s social and academic development, they started the organization to give students the same opportunities they had as kids.
After five years of bringing music into disadvantaged schools, they realized that a strong brand would attract more donors and grow the organization. Red Rooster Group was engaged to:
This is a classic case of a small nonprofit that was ready to grow and needed to wake up its brand in order to do so.
To understand what makes The CWB distinct among other music organizations that offer programs in New York City public schools, we conducted a comprehensive competitive review, looking into the specific services offered. We discovered that Harmony, a larger organization, offered classical music programs, but that The CWB is the only program in New York City offering music that is culturally relevant to the students they serve, which can make a big difference in how kids perceive and participate in the program.
Red Rooster Group conducted a SWOT analysis — assessing the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats — which gave us a better idea of where the organization stood and what we had to work with to develop its brand.
We started by helping the organization to define its vision and develop its goals:
To achieve these goals, brand awareness and recognition for the organization had to be improved. Red Rooster Group also recommended that its Mission Statement be energized.
In assessing the organization’s materials, there was an opportunity for CWB to be more pro-active in the way it described itself. In our interviews, their passion for bringing music to neighborhoods that lacked music programs was their driving force, and this was missing in their Mission Statement.
Red Rooster Group suggested a new Mission Statement that reflected the positive outcome of music instruction and performance for children. We also recommended that the CWB’s vision encompass both personal and communal benefits of the program, such as cultivating friendships, enhancing musical and interpersonal skills, and increasing self-esteem.
CWB offers a variety of music programs to children from disadvantaged neighborhoods to equip them with the discipline, confidence, and team-building skills necessary to reach their full potential. Our focus is on New York City students in schools with scarce resources and where other music programs are not available.
The next major area to tackle was the name, The CWB Foundation for Music & Children, which was long and cumbersome, and mischaracterized the entity as giving money away rather than providing programs. Red Rooster Group and the CWB felt a new name should convey a positive and inspiring message about the benefits of music.
The process included writing a Creative Brief so that we were all on the same page with the organization’s name. We agreed the new name should express the impact music has, and not necessarily what the organization does.
Aiming for an evocative name, we generated a list of hundreds of positive, inspiring, modern, and musical names. We combined names, coined new ones, and used multiple and single words to test which type would best fit the organization. We eventually culled the list of 200 names down to 12 that best suited the organization’s mission.
|Benefit Oriented||Combined||Multiple Word||Coined|
|Brighter Beats||LifeChords||FutureBeat Music||MusiCan|
|Keys for the Future||SongRise||Momentum Music||Posibeats|
|Lifenotes Kids||PlayChime||Sound Unbound||Posikidity|
We then vetted the remaining options to check for potential conflicts through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database, online searches, and social media. We also developed a list of appropriate and available URLs.
The chosen name, MusiCan, a play on the word ”musician,” helps express how empowering music can be to children.
MusiCan’s logo design was meant to emphasize music and the benefits of playing it. Since the organization works with schools in New York City, we chose bright orange and red, colors that reflected the cultural background of the students and neighborhoods. The curved font evokes the youthful energy of the program. The logo is vibrant and recognizable on all mobile platforms and marketing materials, distinguishing it from its competitors.
To appeal to donors, and to explain the need for CWB’s programs and why they are worthy of support, we created a dynamic website that fully captures the spirit of the programs. Site visitors are invited to learn more about the programs through videos, photo galleries, testimonials, and other interactive features. The site is fully responsive for mobile and tablet devices, and is built in WordPress Content Management System.
The homepage showcases how music creates opportunities, encourages students to be unique, and motivates them to reach their full potential.
Site visitors can explore programs through a tab feature, view videos, and meet the teachers.
Donors can learn about the organization’s impact through statistics, quotes, and reasons to support the organization.
As a result of the organization’s new branding, MusiCan had a successful fundraising campaign and engaged Red Rooster Group for additional marketing and fundraising work.
“Howard Levy and the team at Red Rooster Group have impressed us at every turn. Howard provoked us to think deeply about our work and how we wanted to present ourselves to the world. He then researched and analyzed our competition, so that we could see where we fit among New York City nonprofits. Howard's systematic approach, as well as his intrinsic understanding of our values and aspirations, enabled him and his team to hit the ball out of the park on the first try with every single creative aspect, from naming our organization to branding our image to fashioning our website. Working with Howard is like working with a master craftsman who fundamentally knows — and very much loves — what he's doing. From Red Rooster Group's organizational efforts to its creative ones, our experience has been flawless. We are, of course, thrilled with the results.”