Maximize impact by minimizing confusion. That’s the impetus behind a major re-branding effort by the newly renamed Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks.
Gone is the word “United,” but in its place are a new logo and a new website (www.jewishpmb.org) that, well, unite the Jewish philanthropy with its national movement and a growing number of federations across North America.
“The re-branding effort helps to tie us into a national movement of recognition for the work we and our sister federations are engaged in, particularly in the light of national mobility patterns, with families involved in multiple relocations throughout their lives,” said Andrew Frank, executive director of the PMB federation.
The re-branding reflects changes initiated last November, when the national United Jewish Communities changed its name to the Jewish Federations of North America. “Our new name makes a clear and bold statement that we embody the Jewish federation system,” Jerry Silverman, the organization’s president and CEO, said at the time. “Further, this change enables us to work with our partners to create stronger positioning of the Jewish federations for the future.”
The PMB federation’s new circular logo, like that of the national body, is a seven-branched menora topped by a rainbow-like arch.
The federation’s board of directors unanimously voted to adopt the new name and brand at a meeting on March 24. According to Frank, the new brand is being phased in gradually during the course of the upcoming year in order to exercise fiscal responsibility during a difficult economy and so that allocations to Jewish causes will be unaffected by the change.
The federation has also has changed its e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Women’s Campaign will change its name to align with national moniker, Women’s Philanthropy.
‘Find our federation’
The local leaders believe the new image “is a clean, crisp, and easily identifiable look that will help to achieve increased visibility for our organization,” said Frank.
Once the federation began to consider the benefit of re-branding, he said, it called upon the expertise of its volunteer marketing advisory committee. Its members include Paul Schindel, president and chief creative officer of Three Bears Communications in Princeton; Stephanie Will, Women’s Philanthropy campaign chair and Realtor for Coldwell Banker; Bob Weber, federation board member and president of Weblications; Matt Kestenbaum, marketing brand manager for such organizations as Church and Dwight, Inc.; Deborah Kassel Kennedy, marketer for such organizations as PBS; and Ophir Lehavy Busel, the federation’s director of marketing and communications.
The committee conducted research and strategic planning before adopting the new web address, letterhead, and e-mail addresses.
Schindel said the committee applied the same principles that guide brand recognition for every entity that relies on public support, whether the product is athletic footwear, soft drinks, weight-loss programs or, yes, service to the Jewish community.
“There are so many messages out there that finding exactly what you’re looking for can be difficult,” he said. “I always try to emphasize to my clients the importance of presenting a clear and consistent message, both visually and verbally, to their audience. That is where branding can be so effective.”
More than 70 of the 157 Jewish federations in North America already have taken part in the re-branding initiative.
“It makes sense that the name of this and other federations across the country begin with ‘Jewish Federation of…’” said Schindel, a board member of both the federation and Jewish Community Centers Association. “Now, if you search for something ‘Jewish’ on the Internet, in the phone book, or some other way, the chances are far better that you’ll find our federation. People, including those coming from other geographical areas, will have a much easier time locating and participating in our federation, its activities, and its campaign.”