Usually when a company undergoes rebranding, its goal
is to change the perception of the customer regarding the product or service.
It also helps with making the company more focused on the customer's needs. The Autism Society of Greater New
Orleans has gone about the process of rebranding
the correct way. It has launched a new brand developed with the Autism
community, going through an all-embracing process ensuring accessibility
standards for individuals wanting connection to resources, support, and
That aspect of support is vital in any company and
community. One hundred fifty individuals in the Autism community had a hand in
the brand development for over a year. Those who participated played an
incredible role in shaping the new brand from the start of research to the
final stages of delivery of the appearance, feel, tone, and accessibility
"We got involved in the brand process because our
three sons all have Autism, and our local affiliate, the Autism Society of
Central Virginia, has been an incredible resource for our family," Kate and
Gary Fletcher of Richmond, Virginia, said.
Extensive research went into the rebranding process
and, with the help of the Portland, Oregon-based Watson Creative, there was a
series of interviews conducted, focus groups, and advisory councils—all evolved
into a better understanding of the profound state, diversity, and complexity of
needs in the Autism community.
"After hearing from so many people, we were struck by
the enormity of this task - creating a brand that serves a huge, diverse
audience," Matt Waston, CEO and executive creative director of Watson Creative,
said. "We needed to thread the needle to empower and support people across the
spectrum with something grounded, actionable and true."
Inclusivity is the core of the brand. It was contrived
to add access to resources and information and to support the Autism community.
To prevent the hindrance of visual, auditory, or other sensories, the Watson team
looked over colors, fonts, and shapes using the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines to further help those partaking in the Autism Society and accessing
resources. Careful consideration of each design choice was taken along the
entire process, which involved individuals, families, and professionals.
"In our conversations with members of the Autism
community, the one thing that kept repeating was a sense of disconnection—disconnected
to opportunities, to basic needs, it was universal," Mr. Watson said. "So,
connection was the universal response to these disconnected experiences."
Rebranding can be a satisfying experience not just for
the company but also for those looking into it. When you look at the color
system of the new brand, you'll have this calm feeling, and it's quite
stimulating. The "threads" are seen as tying into the company's story of
connection. There will be realistic photography of those in the Autism community
as well, giving an accurate representation of the brand. The Autism community
is unique and consists of many different individuals. The brand's new logo
sheds light on that aspect by weaving colors and threads together to give that
"For us, it's important that the brand creates
visibility for the wide spectrum of individuals with Autism. There are
self-advocates living fully independent lives, and then there are families like
ours, where our children will need significant support throughout their lives.
We want to see more connections being made between these groups," the Fletchers
It's important to point out that the Autism Society's
new brand fully supports the organization and the 75 affiliates nationwide.
Connections and empowerment go hand in hand in the Autism community, and with
the resources provided, no one will be short of receiving the help they need.
It doesn't matter if you're an advocate for Autism or a parent of a newly
diagnosed child looking for information on the matter—the new brand has your
back emotionally, practically, and intellectually.
"No matter how you engage with the Autism Society, we
want you to feel welcome, included and connected to the resources, support and
community you are looking for," Autism Society of America's President and CEO
Christopher Banks said. "That's why I am so deeply inspired by our new
tagline - The Connection is You™. This is a call to action for
every one of us in the Autism community to create connections intentionally.
When you come to the Autism Society looking for information, you are the
connection. When you create a local support group for fathers of Autistic
children, you are the connection. When you are an Autistic self-advocate
showing up to share your story for policy changes, you are the