In 2015, World Music/CRASHarts set out to build name recognition and draw new, younger audiences to its music and dance performances. It commissioned extensive audience research and developed a multipronged engagement strategy centered on an annual global-music festival called CRASHfest.
That strategy is showing promising results. But the related market research suggested that the organization's name was too hard to remember and its brand could be clearer, more consistent and more inspirational. So the organization set out on a rebranding process, the results of which it revealed last month.
World Music/CRASHarts is now Global Arts Live. With the new name come a new logo, a new color palette, detailed design guidelines and new templates for posters, brochures, stage backdrops and other marketing materials.
The organization, along with branding and design firm Minelli, Inc., chose a name that describes its work more clearly and succinctly than the somewhat wordy "World Music/CRASHarts."
To give the descriptive name some emotional resonance, Minelli proposed a dynamic tagline, "Performance that shapes our world." It also offered alternatives so Global Arts Live could adapt the tagline to fit the wide variety of performances it offers. The organization's announcement of the change demonstrates the use of the tagline better than we can explain it here:
"We present many different artists from all over the world—performing dance, world music, jazz—in different venues across the city," said associate director Susan Weiler in an email. "The tagline, messaging and other brand assets give us a road map to adjust the brand to each artist, discipline and venue."
Accompanying the name and tagline are visual and verbal cues to communicate the creativity, diversity and vibrancy of the performances the organization presents. These cues are designed to create a clear, more consistent identity that audiences and supporters can recognize wherever they encounter it.
"The new identity is full of energy and movement," Weiler said. "We have a single clarified name, one contemporary logo, dynamic tag line, updated messaging and complete style guide—all things we didn’t have before."
The organization is now working with digital consultants to reclaim the search-engine rankings the name-change compromised and to analyze web users' behavior in preparation for a full site redesign. This fall, it will launch an advertising and awareness campaign to promote the new brand to new audiences.
It's an extensive undertaking that has so far cost Global Arts Live about $300,000. But the organization is confident it will help boost its public profile and solidify its reputation for high-quality performances. "Creating a new brand requires deep resources in staff time, staff capacity and financial investment," Weiler said. "But operating with an ineffective brand can ultimately cost an organization more."