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Marketing Effectiveness
Web Design
Strategy
Visual Identity

Recent studies show that trust in charities is at an all-time low amongst Western donors due to a lack of transparency of their operations and limited impact of donations on the ground. In a sector that’s facing uncomfortable questions about its efficacy, Hoopo (formerly PRICE Canada) created an innovative investment model that transforms impoverished communities through the power of work. But few people understood or appreciated its revolutionary impact.

Context

$150 billion is spent annually on global aid, yet poverty still remains. Recent studies also show that trust in charities is at an all-time low. According to Fidelity Charitable, 81% of Western donors said the main barrier to donating to charities was concerns over non-profit transparency and understanding the impact of their giving. In many cases, the majority of money donated to a charity or NGO goes towards administration fees and operating expenses - not to people in need.

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Challenge

In a world of flashy charity campaigns, helicopter interventions and high admin fees, PRICE Canada (now Hoopo) stood out. Recognising that poverty is a complex problem that requires more than just handouts, they built an innovative micro-finance investment model that creates jobs for impoverished villagers in Pakistan and delivers a healthy return to Western investors.

How? PRICE's program turned local villagers into very small entrepreneurs (VSE) by placing them in charge of rearing up to five cattle until slaughter.

In exchange, each VSE gets a monthly paycheck (2.3X the local wage) for every animal under their care. Once raised to maturity, the cattle are slaughtered and their meat is sold either as a form of charitable alms giving, or as cash to local markets and wholesalers.

The difference between the revenue from meat purchases versus the cost to raise the cattle pays the salaries of the farmers and provides a 13% return to investors.

Win-win.

But PRICE struggled to articulate this concept in a simple and memorable way, while the look and feel of the brand did a disservice to the incredible impact they were creating on the ground.

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Strategy

PRICE positioned themselves as a typical charity, which buried what made them unique - a radically transparent micro-finance investment platform that created long-term prosperity instead of short-term handouts.

Our strategy was to challenge the conventions that governed the NGO / Charity sector with the belief that we could ‘solve suffering without selling suffering.’

By focusing not only on the problems of impoverished communities, but Western donors as well, we created a messaging hierarchy that clearly explained the real value of PRICE’s donation and investment initiatives.

Many charities use emotional messages that highlight pain and suffering to grab attention. Instead of imitating their pity-porn, we developed a ‘quietly insurgent’ tone of voice that used punchy headlines to poke holes in the traditional charity model.

We summarized this thinking in a new brand model that distilled their their unique employment/investment model and made sure it was front and center of everything they did.

Principles

From aid to employment
Donations create dependency. We think there’s a better way.  We put your kindness where it counts, creating jobs that transform poverty-stricken communities into thriving social enterprises.

From donations to dividends
We’ve created an investment - not a donation - model. Micro entrepreneurs get the investment they need to succeed and you get a healthy return on investment, making Hoopo a sound financial choice and a sound moral one too.

From bloated to lean
When you donate to a charity, nearly half the money doesn’t make it to the field. Our admin fees are zero. So all of your money funds micro investments that deliver a macro impact that lift up communities for good.

Approach

Many charities use emotional messages that highlight pain and suffering to grab attention. Instead of imitating their pity-porn, we developed a ‘quietly insurgent’ tone of voice that used punchy headlines to poke holes in the traditional charity model.

We summarized this thinking in a new brand model that distilled their their unique employment/investment model and made sure it was front and center of everything they did.

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Visual identity

In a crowded charity sector, it’s essential for small brands with a limited budget to stand out.

Extensive research from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science shows that creating distinctive assets like logos, slogans and mascots are crucial to getting noticed, recognized and chosen more often. We reinvented their look to help them stand out and get remembered.

Not your typical NGO

To contrast the standard charity playbook, we used vivid purples and orange in a bold new colour palette to ensure PRICE looked like no-one else in the charity space.

No pity-porn

Instead of showing pain and suffering, we developed an atmospheric visual style that celebrated the dignity and hope of people in-need, as well as emphasizing the innovative technology of PRICE’s investment platform.

A meaningful mascot

In addition, we created a new brand mascot based on the Hoopoe - a colourful messenger bird  with a distinctive crown of feathers, often seen as a symbol of hope.

Say ‘hello’ to Hoopo

PRICE’s brand name, an acronym for ‘Poverty Reduction Initiatives and Capacity Enhancement’, was overly functional, forgettable and non-evocative. To complete the brand transformation, we took inspiration from the new mascot and renamed the brand from ‘PRICE Canada’ to ‘Hoopo’ and designed a new logo.

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Activation

To bring the identity to life, we designed a new website that married the new brand strategy and visual identity into a single, powerful entity.

By streamlining their programs and business model, we reduced their sitemap from 17 pages to just 5. The simplified brand architecture made their website simpler to navigate and read. Value-focused messaging and clear calls to action make it easier for investors and donors to understand and support their cause.

Launching the new identity on email and social showed the different visual and messaging elements working together. Mixing the mascot, bold colours and punchy headlines allows us to clearly explain Hoopo’s unique value in a memorable and distinctive way.

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impact

“Hoopo is on a mission to re-imagine the charity space and Creative Business Company’s work is a game-changer in helping us make that happen. From the incisive brand strategy that helped us distill our key differentiator, to streamlining our portfolio of programs and offers, to the distinctive visual identity that helps us challenge the worn codes of the category, this wasn’t just a brand transformation but a business one. We have just launched the new brand and the response from our partners, donors and the community has been terrific.”
Ihtisham Qureshi
Strategic Advisor, Hoopo (formerly PRICE Canada)
other work