Chi Ishobak: Repositioning Through Rebranding

Brand Development, Stationery System, Informational Flyer, Email Marketing System, Website Restructure.

Chi Ishobak, a Native American community loan fund established in 2005, was preparing to greatly expand its service area when it began working with Cuny Communications. While the organization had done well serving the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in a 10-county area in southwestern Michigan, Cuny Communications recommended a more professional image to support them in successfully positioning the organization in a much larger, statewide market.

At the foundation of the rebranding process, was a logo redesign. We developed a mark that was reflective of the high level of professionalism and talent contained within Chi Ishobak, and that also incorporated the region’s Native American culture. The logo was used as a springboard to design a cohesive look and feel that was applied to several marketing and communications tools, including a stationery system, an informational flyer, an email marketing system, and a website.

Another foundational piece of Chi Ishobak’s rebranding process was developing a new tagline. The tagline needed to be reflective of the organization’s mission and values while providing something for its clients and potential clients to connect with. Cuny Communications created the following tagline: Weaving a pattern of economic independence into our lives today for future generations tomorrow. The tagline not only supports the visual design of the logo, but it reflects fundamental cultural and organizational values.

Because Chi Ishobak was expanding over long distances, a lot of emphasis was placed on developing tools that had flexibility in the way they were produced. For example, instead of developing a traditional tri-fold brochure, we focused our efforts on creating a one-page flyer that could be easily printed or emailed. While a tri-fold brochure is not effective if emailed, a letter-sized flyer maintains its composition and readability on the screen or on a printed sheet.

The email marketing system was a new marketing tool – and one that was critical for connecting with partners and clients over long distances – that we developed from the ground up for Chi Ishobak. Cuny Communications utilized MailChimp, a web-based email marketing software, to establish and configure a Chi Ishobak’s system. We developed custom-designed HTML email templates to match the newly-established brand, and we integrated the account with Chi Ishobak’s Facebook page to streamline their internal communications tasks. We provided email marketing training so the Chi Ishobak staff would not only gain knowledge on how to operate the system, but also so they would gain an understanding of email marketing best practices.

Cuny Communications worked with Chi Ishobak’s existing website developer in restructuring their existing site and applying the new brand to the site. The result was a much more intuitive navigation that supported the other components of the rebranding process. The enhanced website provides clear and concise information about Chi Ishobak’s programs in a way that is easy for visitors to click through.

To date, the marketing materials and strategies we have developed for Chi Ishobak have supported a successful market expansion.