Wild Montana Rebranding
Montana Wilderness Association (MWA) was looking to refresh its brand identity to more fully reflect its dynamic work with a clear goal to bring in new voices –eager, young and representative of Montana’s increasingly diverse population – to support the organization’s efforts. Spitfire was tasked in helping to develop a brand that would help to foster a community of active, inspired members who may be new to the cause; and seek out new corporate sponsors excited about partnering as MWA forges ahead. Our team conducted research, communication and branding activities including a materials review, stakeholder interviews, a comparative analysis, and a brand workshop. Using the insights gained from the research, we developed a brand brief that outlined a new direction for MWA, with a suggested name change from Montana Wilderness Association to Wild Montana, and a new messaging framework that focused on creating a welcoming and inclusive approach to conservation. Spitfire also helped to develop a new website to house the refreshed brand and while bringing the messaging framework to life.
Throughout the rebranding process, it was important that the values and promise of the organization lead the rebranding strategy. After the research and workshop with Wild Montana, we were able to focus on some of the key unique values that we wanted the new branding to reflect. The new name moved away from the term ‘wilderness’, as it had political connotations and reinforced the perception that the organization was only for hardcore backpackers and it also allowed the organization to set itself apart from similar organizations.
When rolling out this new brand, we wanted to create excitement from staff, the Board, stakeholders and members, and create a buzz to attract new potential members, while mitigating worries from older members that the organization was headed in a different direction. To do this, we created a launch strategy including an FAQ document that explained the reasoning behind the branding change. The launch of the Wild Montana brand included a media event with spokespeople that represented a mix of established members, with the new, young Montanans the organization sought to engage. We also created a media list, press releases and an Op-Ed pitch featuring previous presidents and the discussion of the progression of the organization. Today, Wild Montana enjoys a new and refreshed look, complete with a user friendly website and updated Hike Wild Montana trail guide that encourages everyone to get outside and explore Montana's public lands.