2017 MARCOM PLATINUM AWARD
Historic Beverly is a non-profit historical society focused on preserving and promoting access to Beverly’s local history. Their organization owns and operates three historic buildings that house a collection of more than 750,000 local objects.
Beverly Historical Society has been in existence 126-years. While their mission is not simply to preserve artifacts and display collections, they have not had the resources to interpret and explain their importance in a modern context. Membership and program engagement were steadily declining as fewer residents, business owners and descendants of the Society’s houses saw the value of supporting the institution.
What We Found
New technology, shifting demographics and changing lifestyles were presenting the institution with an opportunity to engage a larger part of their community with relevant interpretations of the community’s shared history. The time was here to update the mission and public persona of the Society.
We conducted an online survey to understand the current perceptions of the general public as well as identify opportunities for the future direction of the organizations. Based on those findings, we helped the organization create more engaging programming that explain Beverly’s collective history, provide better event visibility and develop a new brand that included a new name and tagline. The goals of the rebranding were to engage more deeply with a target audience by uniting them with their common interest in Beverly, create greater awareness for the organization, explain the role each member plays in preserving important collections and properties and increase donations as well as memberships to the organization. We changed the name from an outdated “Beverly Historical Society” to Historic Beverly. It is easier to recall, reinforces the focus and geography of the institution. The new tagline—3 houses, 5 centuries, 1000s of stories adds dimension to the name and gives the audience a clear idea of what the organization offers its audience. A historic font paired with one that appears hand drawn reference the personal experiences each visitor has with Historic Beverly. A historic but vibrant palette completes the branding and is also reinforced throughout the properties with painted walls and banners. The brand is extended with a monogram that uses stylized initials to create a unique icon that represents Beverly today and its treasured past. We also created a specific icon for each property that is a rendered detail of a property element. All of these pieces were rolled out in collateral materials banners, signage and merchandise.