The power of collaboration – how Marlin partnered with TBP to reveal a new brand.

Marlin’s unique brand development approach has been proven by many of their for-purpose client partners. Dan Geaves, the agency’s Strategy Director is committed to steering their branding clients to success by filling the gap that so often plagues fundraising brands; the purpose at the heart of the story. 

This work is centered on connecting the story that must be told by a brand, with the impact that story can have on the community. 

This of course requires planning, and touches not only on designed ingredients such as logos and colour schemes, but also verbal elements such as taglines, tone of voice, and even on occasion, brand name itself.

A critical success factor is getting agreement of what the narrative will be. Without it there is a slim chance of finding a name, logo, tagline and design that everyone will agree on.

Marlin’s process for divergently exploring and then convergently agreeing what it could be, is guided by the work of psychologists such as Professor Carol S Pearson and Professor Russell James. By standing on the shoulders of such giants, Marlin is able to offer frameworks that enable genuine collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders including Boards, and even beneficiaries.  

As a creative partner Marlin is able to go beyond strategic descriptions, to actually developing prototypes that enable stakeholders to get a taste of what is to come. For The Benchmarking Project, Marlin approached this in two stages.  Firstly using a technique they refer to as “stylescaping.” 

A stylescape is a mood board of logos, colours, fonts, and design assets curated by an experienced Art Director. By sharing three of these, the Marlin team could share ideas for three different brand directions. The conversation helped TBP to see the possibilities for how data could be presented, as well as the possibility of a distinctive presence. It is an exciting way for everyone to participate.

From that step a choice of different logo concepts, brand identities and taglines could be developed. This provided a further opportunity to “try on” a brand, and compare and contrast it with others.

The winning idea builds a “b” and a “p” from pie-chart circles and segments. It helps to set up a narrative that TBP are shaping the future by creating the opportunity for fundraising leaders to see and share new perspectives. As the tagline suggests “Your data tells the story.”

As a new website and new collateral are released, you will see more examples of how these vital elements  help TBP turn their  confident yet approachable tone into the voice of wisdom, collaboration and trust for the fundraising community. .
“The Benchmarking Project is a collaborator, a facilitator, a storyteller, a visionary, a partner in fundraising.”