20.11.2014 ArthurSteenHorneAdamson

Rebranding the YMCA.

YMCA came to ASHA after recognising that it was failing to get its message across to the public, and this was affecting its share of charitable donations and the effectiveness of its work. 


As part of the drive for communicating more effectively, YMCA commissioned ASHA to help them develop the foundations of a clear, cause related brand proposition and to develop one national brand which could be adopted by each member of federation.


Through our research and analysis phase we identified that the YMCA is a prolific deliverer of services into the community, caters to a wide range of age groups and audiences and operates with real local emphasis – all of which was creating confusion. 


By recognising that ‘community’ and ‘youth’ were indelibly written into the YMCA history, we articulated the generative idea as ‘Youth Minded Community Approach’. This provided a focal point for linking everything YMCA does and how they express their brand. We then created a vehicle for ensuring YMCA activity reflected the brand; ‘What’s the point?’ became the driving force for categorising the different services into five main areas and for describing their reason for being. ‘What’s the point?’ also formed the foundations of the Tangram for the new brand identity. Furthermore, it provided a way of linking back to the red triangle, which was created over 130 years ago to express the holistic YMCA approach of paying attention to ‘body, mind and spirit.’ 


Our critical thinking at every stage of the project has created the backbone for a brand with national consistency and strength. Every expression of the brand has been addressed from the vast array of sub-brands which had crept into existence over the years, extensive signage design and prototyping and the creation and design of a website template system that allows each local YMCA to personalise their content and message within a strong YMCA brand framework.