One of our 2021 strategic initiatives was to execute a brand refresh. Typically, organizations will refresh their logo, tagline, or other brand elements to better relate to changing audiences or shifting markets or to better reflect the organization’s current product or service offerings. In our case, we wanted to better reflect our company’s mission and breadth of services in a more concise way.
In June, we rolled out our new branding – including a shortened organization name, a new logo, and a new website. Our founder Danny Ludeman wanted a name that gave participants a sense of pride when they completed the program. He chose the name Concordance Academy of Leadership. Most of our participants have not completed high school, so completing the Academy program is a real sense of accomplishment. And that is the very same reason that we celebrate participants’ completion of our 18-month program with a graduation ceremony, including gowns and certificates.
After providing services to participants in the St. Louis region for the past five years, we have begun plans for national expansion. We wanted to ensure that our brand would be easily recognizable, retainable, and relatable. This made us take a closer look at our organization’s name. Our final decision – drop the “Academy of Leadership” from our overall organization name. We are now known simply as “Concordance”. The shortened name better reflects the organization and all of our integrated services (mental health and substance use treatment in addition to education, job training, and employment). It also removes any confusion of the public thinking we are an academic institution.
Under that main “Concordance” umbrella, we will continue to have our Academy of Leadership participant program, our Concordance Institute research arm, the Concordance Employment Agency, and our Concordance Out for Good alumni program.
Our brand refresh was a project in collaboration with St. Louis based, HLK Agency, who helped us develop a new logo and tagline. Our new logo includes the tagline “Healing. Equity. Hope.” The tagline emphasizes our healing-first model, our commitment to equity for our participants and within our communities, and the hope that we have for our participants and their futures.
With the help of HLK Agency, we also debuted a brand-new website that includes more content (videos, pictures, monthly blog) and easier navigation. We will continue to build out the website through the remainder of this year with expanded Career and Concordance Employment Agency pages. It will also include individual pages for each of our center locations that include contact information, center-specific data points, and event information. We are so excited to have this new virtual “front door” for people to learn more about Concordance and the work we do.
And speaking of front doors, we also installed new signage at our St. Louis Center. The exterior sign and our lobby sign were both replaced with our new logo and tagline. The logo and signage on the left is our old branding and logo and the signage on the right is our new branding.