Branding a
community space

The company

Oradea Community Foundation is a NGO that has been developing projects for the local community since 2013. Through the expertise and dedication of their founding members they have managed to create projects that have become local traditions and gather more sponsors and volunteers each year.

One of the long time dreams of Oradea Community Foundation was to create a space and a place for the community, one that could provide access to many different types of educational programs, a coworking space and purposeful entertainment. When they finally got the space they needed it came down to creating a story around it, a brand that people would want to engage with.

brand strategy

The situation

We needed to create a brand for a place where people would gather and grow together as a community. It would become a focal point of the Oradea Community Foundation activity and the most important ambassador of their efforts. 

The brand needed to have aspirational qualities but also a down to Earth vibe, a mix between wild dreams and concrete things.

The challenge

The most difficult part of building a brand for a whole community is the impossibility of narrowing down audiences. Unlike usual cases you cannot go too far with defining the precise audience. This brand needed to speak to people across a wide spectrum of demographic and behavioral characteristics. It needed to be friendly, aspirational and most of all engaging. 

We were required to build a brand that could make people believe that they can change the world.


Uncovering and discovering

This part of the process is a series of workshops including creative people and decision makers from both sides that work together on uncovering the core purpose and main business goals of the company. This process helps generate creative solutions for building the brand.

In this case the workshops were intense, but incredibly fruitful as we got closer and closer to defining the NGO’s culture, core values and purpose with this space. Because of the wide audience challenge we developed more customer profiles than usual. This helped us to be creative about engaging all these different customer groups.


Strategy is about positioning

Strategy is about positioning, differentiation and the way a brand communicates. We started from brand naming then we moved on to the other brand elements.

We had many different name explorations but the one that spoke to everyone the most was Comuniteca, a derived word, a made up term that had a lot of great connotations in romanian. It was easy to understand and friendly, playful and memorable. It had this quality of being mysterious and revealing all at the same time. It was a mixture of youth and old age, something that sounded both interesting and familiar. We all loved how it sounded, how it played with your mind.

We went further into positioning and defined the main differentiators and our place in the market. It was, after all, one of a kind in the city and a rarity on a national level. We then developed the brand voice and tone of voice. It needed to be friendly and approachable, whilst maintaining credibility and being trustworthy.

Next was brand communication and all of that starts from the brand manifesto, the core of what the brand stands for. We understood this brand was about people wanting to change themselves and the world. This brand is made for them, for the ones that find motivation in action, for the ones that don’t believe in given limits. For the ones that know how to take what’s theirs and also know the value of giving back. This brand is more than a limited space, it’s initiative, action, results. This is what the manifesto was all about.


The alchemy of identity

We played, we drew, we looked at the past to create for the future. With one foot into the familiarity of ‘80’s design and the other into contemporary simplicity, we brought two worlds into one design solution.

The whole community should feel like a part of the brand. Joyous colours and a playful and dynamic logo created the fun, fresh and interesting side of the brand. Through touchpoints and communication we’ll bring the corporate values in.


The launch

We need to take the brand out in public, we need to show it to people and make them understand what it stands for. If it’s for the community, it should be with the community, so we wanted to get everybody involved.

We created a launch campaign in the form of a “Letter hunt” throughout the city. We printed posters with each letter from the brand’s name and scattered them around in important locations like the train station, main city landmarks and historical areas. We used AR and a custom built app to make all the posters turn to life once scanned.

This hunt also had a higher purpose as every photograph uploaded on the brand’s social media page would be translated into a donation from a sponsor. We did this to enhance the message of the brand and make a positioning statement from the start. Do good for others, get involved and make a difference. This was an extension of the brand message.

our reward

What the future holds

Comuniteca is one of our most beloved projects. It was rewarding creatively, professionally and most of all emotionally. We are very proud of creating something that the whole community will be able to enjoy and that will bring so much value to society. It was one of the most challenging and enjoyable branding experiences we’ve ever had.
Testimonial from Sleepy Eyes goes here. We should have a decent length without being too short or too long.
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