How a rebrand helps transform a mission in preservation


Client: Hoyt Arboretum
Initiative: Brand Alignment and Development
Sector: Life Sciences
Focus: Researchers, Educators and Recreational Enthusiasts
Market: Arboreta


Challenge

Situated only minutes from downtown Portland, Oregon, Hoyt Arboretum sprawls across 185 acres, with 21 trails covering 12 miles, and world-class collection of trees and plants. As it approached the 75th Anniversary of its first tree planting, Hoyt Arboretum wanted to update its ‘70s era branding so that it could tell its story more effectively and galvanize the support it needed to preserve its “living museum” for future generations. Hoyt Arboretum Friends asked Steve Dionatelli to create a new logo for the organization, as well as standardized templates it could use to communicate with more consistency across its various marketing and educational materials, including seasonal brochures, trail maps and public signage.


“Political leaders now tout Hoyt Arboretum as a world-class conservation resource, a level of recognition that is “completely new.”

— Cynthia Haruyama, Executive Director of the Hoyt Arboretum Friends Foundation


Above: The tagline, “a world of trees for all seasons,” clearly expresses Hoyt Arboretum’s value proposition of exhibiting trees from around the world and conserving arboreal biodiversity, while alluding to its proud legacy and commitment to future generations.

Solution

Through a research and discovery process that included interviews with a broad array of Arboretum supporters and stakeholders, Donatelli identified deeper branding issues. Although it was well known and much loved as a place to run, hike and picnic, there was limited awareness of the Arboretum’s value to conservation, research and education. Based on these findings Donatelli recommended that the Arboretum not only refresh and update the visual presentation of its brand identity, but also refocus awareness and attention on its core mission and values. Donatelli developed a comprehensive strategy to rethink and redesign every aspect of the Hoyt Arboretum brand experience to encourage a higher frequency of impressions through focused identity and messaging. Donatelli also provided guidance on the tactical steps needed for a successful brand launch.

“The branding guidelines and templates enable the staff, and even volunteers, to produce high-quality materials with considerably less effort.”



Results

The results of the revitalized Hoyt Arboretum brand is twofold: 1) a significantly increased understanding of the Arboretum’s benefits among members and the general public and 2) a strong foundation for sustained support. Cynthia Haruyama, Executive Director of the Hoyt Arboretum Friends Foundation, says the impact and results have been dramatic.

According to Haruyama:

    The new branding has been an integral part of last year’s 18% increase in contributions.
    The branding guidelines and templates enable the staff, and even volunteers, to produce high-quality materials with considerably less effort.
    Supporters rave about the difference they see in the Arboretum’s communications, and they make a connection between the materials and our overall progress as stewards of the Arboretum.
    Political leaders now tout Hoyt Arboretum as a world-class conservation resource, a level of recognition that is “completely new.”
    “All our plans for the next next 25 years is to increase funding for the Arboretum are possible only because of the comprehensive branding package Donatelli developed,” Haruyama says.


Donatelli provided a system for literature and signage as well as trail maps, directional markers and landmark signs.

About Hoyt Arboretum

Founded in 1928 by community leaders as part of a connected system of parks and trails, Hoyt Arboretum serves as an educational institution and conserves potentially endangered species. Designed in the tradition of Frederick Law Olmstead—the Arboretum offers a naturalistic presentation of what is actually a cultivated garden—with altering open spaces, groves of trees, and view corridors to delight the eye and inspire the soul.

The Hoyt Collection includes more than 1,400 true species, with specimens grown from seeds collected in the wild. In turn, these plants produce seeds that can be used to replant native ecosystems that have been destroyed or are at risk.

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