The Foundry brand was developed in 2016, with significant input from youth and families/caregivers from across BC and Canada. At that time, however, only a handful of centres were either open or in development and the Foundry model was still being evaluated and refined.
Since then, Foundry (and the world) has changed, a lot…
- We completed our proof of concept and developmental evaluations, and our network grew to include 11 open centres open currently, and have 8 more in development. And our network continues to grow, as the Province of BC recently announcing funding for another 4 centres, eventually bringing the total number of open centres across BC to 23.
- In 2021, our provincial virtual services team began offering Foundry services to youth and caregivers across the province through the Foundry BC app.
- In addition, we’ve grown our digital footprint to include foundrybc.ca and numerous social media channels and campaigns, each offering new insights and learnings.
With all this growth and change, Foundry saw an urgent need to invest resources into refining Foundry’s brand and digital strategy, to ensure all youth and families/caregivers experience Foundry as a safe and welcoming place.
Refine vs rebrand
A brand is represented visually through colours and graphics, but it is so much more than just that! Foundry’s brand serves as a tangible way to show who we are, how we are different and embody a welcoming and safe environment for young people in BC and their caregivers. This brand refinement process has not changed who Foundry is or what we stand for. The brand refresh is an opportunity to adapt, reposition, and actively realign our brand to better serve our work. Though some things way look different, we are still Foundry.
A cross-functional team at Foundry central office was established to undertake an engagement process alongside branding agency TAXI to better understand who we are, as well as the unique and emerging needs of youth ages 12- 24, their families/caregivers in BC, as well as our staff both at FCO and across the network. To understand this, the project undertook extensive rounds of engagement with youth, families/caregivers, and staff from across the network and Foundry central office.
This process led to a rich understanding of the incredibly diverse needs of those we serve, and culminated in the development of a Foundry ‘brand house’, which articulates Foundry’s brand positioning statement, mission, values, personality traits, audience and context. This document serves as Foundry’s north star, supporting decision-making by offering a filter to guide strategy development, communications campaigns, service offerings and so much more.
From there, a new iteration of this cross-functional team was formed to work alongside TAXI to support the development of updated brand guidelines, environmental design guidelines, donor recognition guide, a provincial digital strategy and centre specific social playbook and a ‘manifesto video’.
In February 2022, this group presented the results of the brand refinement project to the Foundry network. To watch this presentation, click here.
- Transition to the refined brand
- We will take a phased approach when updating existing materials and will be working closely with all centres to begin using the refined visuals going forward. Our goal is to make this update alongside stakeholders to ensure a thoughtful and collaborative transition.
- Grow the “ecosystem”
- A key finding from the project’s engagement process was that youth and/or families want to see themselves and their communities reflected in the Foundry brand. We will continue to create new graphics with Foundry centres that represent the uniqueness of the communities in British Columbia.
- Indigenous wellness & anti-racism
- Foundry formed an Indigenous Wellness team, launched an Anti-Racism Organizational Change working group, and engaged with Reciprocal Consulting and The Commons to conduct organizational assessments that will identify a pathway forward for Foundry to ensure our organization.
- The Foundry experience
- Foundry’s brand identifies who we are, how we are different, and lets young people in BC and their caregivers know we are a welcoming and safe environment. Colours, logos and graphics are simply a visual symbol, that come second to the experiences young people have when they encounter Foundry services.
Have questions, or need support? We’re here for you!
- Communications: Stefanie Costales
- Capital & Project Management: Robyn Burgess
- Foundry Experience & Engagement: Leah Lockhart
- Indigenous Wellness & Anti-Racism: Toni Carlton
- Philanthropy: Rebecca Sharma
Frequently asked questions
Foundry is an integrated youth service model. Why is branding important to Foundry?add
Foundry is removing barriers and increasing access to health and wellness services for young people ages 12–24 and their caregivers across British Columbia. Foundry’s brand serves as a tangible way to show who we are, how we are different and how we embody a welcoming and safe environment for young people in BC and their caregivers. A brand is represented visually through colours and graphics but it is so much more than just that! The creation of a strong brand builds trust, reputation and credibility with young people, caregivers, partners and stakeholders.
Why is Foundry investing time and money into the refinement of its brand?add
Foundry central office is investing resources into refining the Foundry brand because of the significant change Foundry has seen as an organization since the brand’s inception in 2016. Since then we completed our proof of concept and developmental evaluations, and our network grew to include 11 open centres (with 8 more opening soon) and a provincial virtual services team, including our very own Foundry BC app. In addition, we’ve grown our digital footprint to include foundrybc.ca and numerous social media channels and campaigns, each offering new insights and learnings. We see this brand refinement project as an opportunity to adapt, reposition, and actively realign our brand to better serve our work.
The refined brand has now been introduced. What next?add
After the initial introduction of refined branding February 2022, we will continue to work with centres to begin incorporating new elements into day-to-day materials such as on social media and promotional material print outs. We will take a phased approach when updating existing materials and will be working closely with all centres to begin using the refined visuals going forward. Our goal is to make this update alongside stakeholders to ensure a thoughtful and collaborative transition.
What about existing centres? Will they be required to update their spaces with the new brand elements? If so, who covers the costs of this?add
No. Existing centres are not required to make any changes to their physical space immediately. Our goal is to avoid incurring any unnecessary costs, and therefore the shift for existing centres will mostly come about as we refresh or repair items (e.g. paint, graphics) that need attention due to wear and tear. Over the coming months Foundry central office will be working together with operating Foundry centres to co-create a feasible plan to make changes and updates to their centres. Foundry central office will support centres during these updates to incorporate new design elements meaningfully. At this time we do not have a budget for these changes at FCO, but will review this internally once we have a sense of centres’ needs.
What process have you used to ensure these new guidelines and digital strategy will serve the needs of youth, families/caregivers and Foundry staff across BC?add
To ensure the brand refinement project serves the needs of youth, families/caregivers and Foundry staff across BC, a cross-functional team at Foundry central office was established and undertook a six month engagement process alongside branding agency TAXI. This engagement process included conducting surveys and focus groups with youth and caregivers within the Foundry Network, youth and caregivers who have not yet accessed Foundry and members of the Foundry network including lead agency leadership and service providers. The results of these engagement activities led to a rich understanding of the incredibly diverse needs of those we serve, and culminated in the development of a Foundry ‘brand house’ (Appendix A) and subsequently the brand guidelines and environmental guidelines.
Why are you referring to the project as a brand refinement, and not a rebrand?add
A brand is a representation of who an organization is and what they stand for. A brand impacts the organization’s reputation and serves to communicate an organization’s values and unique qualities. This brand refinement process has not changed who Foundry is or what we stand for. The changes seen in the refined brand reflect the changing needs of youth and caregivers we serve and so the way we speak to and engage with them need to be reexamined and refreshed. It’s important that we listen actively, watch carefully and adapt accordingly to meet the needs of the people we serve. The brand refresh is an opportunity to adapt, reposition, and actively realign our brand to better serve our work. Though some things way look different, we are still Foundry.