After 15 years of the same corporate identity/logo, Beardsley Architects + Engineers recently went through a rebranding initiative. Like many firms have experienced, the process takes several months and involves a good deal of external assessment and internal self exploration. After the messaging and positioning statements are developed, most firms begin to develop a logo which helps promote the brand.
Inevitably, the excitement of the new logo results in the purchase of a number of new branded promotional products and apparel. But what about all of the old stuff with the old logo? At Beardsley, we had a number of products including padfolios, backpacks, and briefcases which bore our old logo. All of these were either in new or gently used condition, but certainly they were not ready for the parking lot dumpster.
During our search for new promotional items, I asked the firm we were working with about what to do with these “old” items. The firm suggested donating the items to a local not-for-profit organization, OnPoint for College, that works with inner city youth seeking higher education opportunities. OnPoint has successfully assisted over 5,000 first-generation youth get into college, stay there, and ultimately succeed afterwards.
Less than a week after our donation, OnPoint held a resume workshop with students preparing to enter the workforce. At the end of the workshop, each student received one of our donated padfolios and was equipped for their first interview.
According to Ginny Donohue, the Executive Director for OnPoint, students and job applicants that have some of these tools (like the backpacks, briefcases, and padfolios that we donated) gain a sense of confidence as they prepare for a meeting or job interview. Feeling confident and prepared is often half the battle of taking that next step.
If you find your own firm in a similar situation with old promotional items, consider donating to OnPoint or a similar agency in your area. You’ll be glad that you can help make a difference in the life of someone that might be less fortunate.