Branding transformation – how Marlin dug deeper to reveal a bold new brand for The Benchmarking Project.

When you see it the new brand, you may think that we’ve had a face lift, but give this new branding approach a second look and you’ll see a latent truth revealed. This branding work is an example following a creative strategy for the organisation which reflects the narrative that the founders of The Benchmarking Project have always wished to pursue.

Story telling is at the heart of The Benchmarking Project’s approach, now it is at the heart of their brand too.

The Benchmarking Project has a descriptive brand name that leaves experienced fundraisers and charity professionals in little doubt about what they do. But we proposed that it was time to put the ‘why’ front and centre.

Between 2019-2021 Marlin helped the Fundraising Institute of Australia to shift its conference positioning away from descriptions of what fundraising is, towards actually recognising the role of fundraising and elevating the role fundraisers play. It led to some bolder approaches that pulled larger and larger audiences towards the FIA National Conference. So when we heard what The Benchmarking Project was up to, we thought we should give their approach to marketing and communications some attention too.

The Benchmarking Project (TBP) is an example of a brand that is challenging the status quo for the sake of the customers it respects, and loves. In this case that audience is fundraisers. TBP was born out of consultation with the sector as an outcome of The Irregular Giving Project, so we took the time to listen and discover what that audience was looking for. 

This revealed the fundraising community’s desire for an objective, external view of how their fundraising program is performing. TBP’s response is to ensure that there is reduced bias in the way that the insights from data are analysed, and shared. 

It was fascinating to discover that the way in which the story of any set of analysed data, will always carry the bias of the story-teller. This is why different Professors of Epidemiology have had different things to say throughout the pandemic. The Benchmarking Project wishes to counter that phenomena by ensuring that Members can select their storytellers from a wider list than any single consultancy or fundraising business partner could provide. And they are developing and nurturing the community of participants to become active voices in the ongoing and continuous improvement of the analysis and interpretation of the data that is pooled.

We recognised that all of this collective wisdom gives The Benchmarking Project the ability to make a bold new offer to the sector; to be able to seek out the best possible external view. It is more than a fee-for-a-service venture, it is a collaborative undertaking that will advance and shape future fundraising practice.

Marlin proposed that the branding system become more distinctive and bolder in response. From a strong new logo, to engaging copy and tagline, this revitalised brand ensures The Benchmarking Project stands apart and attracts the attention and interest they deserve.