New G.F.F. logo in major brand repositioning

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — Positioning the group as a thought leader and advocate for grain-based foods, the Grain Foods Foundation on Dec. 17 unveiled a new logo culminating a rebranding initiative.

The logo will be available for G.F.F. investors to use on packages and in marketing materials.

Christine Cochran, executive director of the foundation since July 2012, said the rebranding process was a result of efforts that began shortly after she joined the group.

“Six months into the job, we conducted a series of strategic interviews with investors,” she said. “We took the feedback from those conversations to craft a better defined mission and vision. Ultimately, this process allowed us to craft what the Grain Foods Foundation brand will represent going forward.”

In addition to a new logo, which Ms. Cochran called the “visual representation of the brand,” the foundation also developed a “brand position” and a “brand statement.”

Ms. Cochran said the position describes both how the foundation will behave the “why” of the G.F.F.:

“Grain Foods Foundation is a group of thought leaders and advocates for all grain foods that believe everybody needs grain food to enjoy a happy and healthy life.”

By contrast, the brand statement references the foundation’s audiences, ranking them by the degree to which they are the focus of the group’s activities, beginning with opinion influencers:

“For influencers, investors and consumers seeking information and resources on grain foods as a part of a healthy lifestyle, Grain Foods Foundation is a helpful, expert group of thought leaders and advocates for all grain foods that believe everybody needs grain food to enjoy a happy and healthy life.”

“This helps describe what G.F.F. does — that we are a helpful resource that can provide expertise and thought leadership about grain-based foods,” Ms. Cochran said.

Engaged specifically for the rebranding processes was The Cyphers Agency, based in Annapolis, Md.

“They work with a number of food companies, and they brought a clear understanding of who G.F.F. is and where we wanted to go,” Ms. Cochran said. “They have a strong reputation in both the commercial and association business.”

As part of the effort, the two web sites of the G.F.F. — Go With The Grain and Grains for your Brain — will be consolidated into a single site. This new site will be launched in January, Ms. Cochran said.

“The marketing committee decided that having two distinct on-line presences was confusing,” she said. “We need to consolidate to maximize the power of our message and for transparency. To combine, we needed to develop a logo for the foundation versus one developed for a specific campaign, such as ‘Go with the Grain.’”

While the existing logos will continue playing a role in G.F.F. communications going forward, the new logo will be the principal mark of the G.F.F. brand in the future, she said.

“We need a single mark that represented everything that the foundation does,” she said.

To help Cyphers in crafting this new logo, several distinct conceptual words were sent to the agency’s creative team.

The final logo is meant to connect with the grain origins of grain-based foods while bringing people together (joining hands) to eat (fork) and for conversation (word bubble), Ms. Cochran said.

The new logo may be used with or without the bubble. The tagline “come to the table…” also may be incorporated. A style guide for using the logo has been made available to investors.

Ms. Cochran said the color palette was selected to complement the industry’s products.

“We want the logo to fit with the industry,” she said. “We did a survey of industry logos. The new logo is distinctive with its red and gold but also is in keeping with the industry.”

“For investors that continue to use past marks on their packaging, G.F.F. is preserving that intellectual property through appropriate legal filings,” the G.F.F. said in a statement to investors. “However, we are very happy to work with you to transition to G.F.F.’s new look.”
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