Autism is a journey. Through understanding and sharing the autism journey, we can improve outcomes, support families, and cultivate inclusivity.

meet the client

AutismBC is a non-profit society, helping individuals and families navigate their journey with autism. As a parent based and directed group, they are part of the autism community, on the journey alongside their 3000+ members.

What makes AutismBC special, as the hub for the autism community, is that it’s a place for people of any and all types to come together, connect, and share, in an inclusive and welcoming environment.

 

Projects Completed
  • Brand Discovery + Compass
  • Focus Group
  • Visual Identity Rebrand
  • Marketing Action Plan

Brand Discovery + Compass

THE CHALLENGE

AutismBC came to REX looking for clarity and direction for their non-profit organization. With many autism networks in BC that appear to be similar, AutismBC was challenged to stand out from the alternatives and to define their strongest position in the community. It was important for AutismBC to increase public awareness of their organization in order to secure more funding from companies and donations from individuals, to continue providing necessary programs, education, support, and resources for their members. Additionally, there was a lack of consistency in how they were communicating about their brand.

INSIGHTS + BARRIERS

Primary Audiences

  1. People affected by autism – individuals and their families
  2. People not affected by autism – companies and community

 

The Audience Barriers

  • Lack of understanding of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Lack of understanding of autism’s impact on a family’s collective life
  • Lack of communication between the audiences (based on fear of judgment or offending)
  • Lack of support (or knowledge of and access to support) for families affected
  • Lack of inclusiveness in the greater community
OBJECTIVES
  • Clarify and document a brand strategy that aligns with AutismBC’s strategic objectives, to guide integrated and on-brand communications
  • Define high-level brand messaging that positions AutismBC’s leadership in information and awareness, support and education
  • Understand the customer journey and engagement cycle to uncover gaps in support and add more value to the user experience
OUR STRATEGY + APPROACH

Our strategy was to influence thought and behavioural change in society and get people talking about Autism. We wanted to start a conversation around the idea that autism is a journey, and that through understanding and sharing the autism journey, we can improve outcomes, support families, and cultivate inclusivity.

Emploring a focus group, we spoke directly to members of the audience and uncovered a deep understanding of the voice of people affected by ASD in BC as they experience the stages of the lifelong journey with autism.

Through a collaborative Discovery process, we articulated AutismBC’s impact, positioning, purpose, process, and core offerings in a way that would resonate with their primary audiences. The strategy outlined in their Brand Compass would be the foundation for the Visual Identity Rebrand and future marketing initiatives.

Focus Group

THE CHALLENGE + OBJECTIVE

Market Research Problem

How do we craft messaging that will speak to the underlying thoughts, barriers, and needs of people affected with ASD? How will we encompass the average experience of a person affected by ASD in BC?

 

Market Research Objective

To understand the voice of people affected by ASD in BC as they experience the stages of the lifelong journey with autism.

RESEARCH DESIGN

A number of projective tests and third-person techniques were used to tap into the participants’ deepest feelings. This included an audience journey exercise, wherein participants wrote down their thoughts, feelings, and concerns regarding each step in the journey for a family affected by ASD.

RESULTS

The focus group was emotional, incredibly insightful, and invaluable. Not a minute went by where our team did not learn something new and impactful to our project. We were able to answer the research problem and uncover deep insights into the primary audience directly from the source, which would influence every aspect of AutismBC’s brand strategy. We developed an understanding of how the audience describes their own unique journeys with autism and how to move towards becoming a more inclusive society.

We answered specific questions such as:

  • Where are the biggest gaps and challenges for the ASD community?
  • How can the general public best join in on the ASD conversation?

 

The summary report outlined key findings and recommendations for new programs and initiatives that would add value to AutismBC’s audience and position them as a leader and invaluable resource in the community.

Visual Identity Rebrand

THE CHALLENGE

AutismBC required a visual rebrand to align the look and feel of the brand to the completed brand strategy. The existing brand no longer accurately represented the impact of AutismBC as an organization and the logo was not legally trademarked by AutismBC, creating a significant risk.

INSIGHTS + BARRIERS

The primary audience was individuals and families affected by Autism – but the challenge was that each journey is unique and we wanted to stay away from generalizing or using a generic symbol to represent Autism.

OUR STRATEGY AND APPROACH

Visual Objectives: What did we want the visual achieve?

  • Stand out from the other autism networks in BC
  • Convey AutismBC’s unique positioning and philosophy
  • Be professional/appeal to large corporate sponsors
  • Be relatable/appeal to a diverse range of individuals and families
  • Invoke positive emotion

 

The Impact: What did we want people to feel as a result?

  • AutismBC fosters an inclusive society
  • AutismBC is the hub for the ASD community, bringing networks together
  • AutismBC improves and enhances the journey for individuals and families
  • AutismBC helps British Columbians navigate the autism journey
  • AutismBC’s tone is bold, honest, collaborative, community-oriented, positive, and understanding
EXECUTION

The logo is a symbol of AutismBC’s role as the central hub that brings the ASD community together. The uniqueness of the journey, inclusivity, and togetherness are conveyed through three unique shapes that come together and embrace one another, building new colour in the areas that they share. These varying shapes reflect the uniqueness of each individual’s experience on the autism journey. The idea of connection is displayed through the link that unites the letter “A” with the rest of the letters in the wordmark.

The Results

AutismBC is now armed with a robust visual identity that is meaningful to their brand story and is adaptable across various marketing platforms.