Reselience’s rebranding has been featured in a Craine’s Chicago Business article. Lisa Bertagnoli spoke with Executive Director Erin Walton and rebranding partner Substance’s Matthew Brett.
A local rape crisis group rebranded, taking on a new identity to avoid loaded trigger words. They say the move has paid off.
Erin Walton, executive director, says the former name had grown irrelevant and even problematic as the organization evolved. “Rape” too narrowly defined its focus, given that it helps survivors of all sexual trauma. “Victim” is a “trigger word that doesn’t resonate with some survivors,” Walton says, and even “advocates” doesn’t adequately describe the charity’s work.
Why the change to Resilience? For clients, the word points to the future instead of focusing on the trauma. It’s also easier for potential funders to hear. “Rape is possibly one of the most inflammatory words in the English language,” says Matthew Brett, owner of Substance, a Chicago-based communications firm that helped with the rebrand.
Resilience’s annual operating expenses are $2.7 million, 37 percent of which is covered by individual donations and earned revenue, for instance, corporate workshops designed to create a culture of respect and equality. Walton wants to move that figure to 50 percent, especially as Resilience plans to expand its presence to 18 hospitals, up from 14 now. The rebranding, including a revamp of the website and marketing materials, cost $60,000—money well-spent, as the new name will make it easier to talk about the organization and its goals. “We just really want to minimize barriers to those initial conversations,” Walton says.