Over the last year and a half the YMCA’s in Canada have taken on the task of evaluating and ultimately renewing our YMCA brand. This has been a long journey for the YMCA and one where we learned many things about brand and how it influences everything we do as an organization. Our mission, our vision and our values all reflect our brand and the type of organization we want to be in the eyes of our stakeholders and our communities.
So far my experience with public perception of the new brand adopted by all the YMCA’s in Canada has been positive since beginning to roll it out about six months ago.
Changing the look of the logo, however, is only one facet of what it means to introduce the new brand. For the community members we interact with, including schools, families, youth, other charities and media, the changes will mean greater transparency, and improved communication (understanding) about what the Y can do to help build healthy communities across Simcoe and Muskoka.
The focus of our ongoing strategic planning sessions has been about “Building healthy communities” and we are committed to ensuring our actions are in concert with our words. The spirit of our new strategic plan will live in the way your YMCA reaches beyond the facilities and into communities. We are forging partnerships, collaborating in a cooperative spirit and getting out from behind the front desks to participate in community based activities on a regular basis.
The essence of the new brand is described as “determined, genuine, welcoming, hopeful, nurturing and fun” and we are passionate about conveying these attributes in a way that positively impacts the lives of community members, our volunteers and staff, as well as community partners and families across the region.