Talking Dog Agency 2020, Client: The Backpack Project, Inc.

Page 1

case study talking dog agency 1

table of contents


background 4

meet the ‘pack 6

let’s unpack 8

situation analysis 10

insights 14

the strategy 22

new brand identity 24

digital and social renovations 30

community awareness 42

personal donations 54

results 59

future recommendations 64




tbp unzipped The Backpack Project, Inc. (also referred to as TBP) provides backpacks filled with food, clothes, and toiletries to those who are experiencing homelessness in Georgia. One of the core tenets of TBP is to form meaningful and lasting conections with each individual that they encounter. Each backpack costs $20 to make and includes 40+ essential supplies curated by season and gender. The contents of the backpacks are improved biannually through focus groups and research conducted with their clients. The organization is run entirely by students who dedicate their time to ending the cycle of homelessness. The team works together to manage TBP’s finances, marketing & operations. They view philanthropy as a lifestyle, rather than an activity.


meet the ‘pack

sierra brown

account executive

click us to go to our linkedins!

keagan ross

fetch strategist 6

riley scruggs

project manager

gracie hamby

pr specialist

angel bhardwaj

virginia mathews

pr specialist

art director

victoria masterson

jordan marbury

digital strategist



let’s unpack


executive summary In our initial audit, we found The Backpack Project, Inc to be a kind-hearted and determined organization that earned themselves considerable growth and public recognition. Despite their success, the brand reached out to us to spike this trend even further, so we did just that. We first recognized that the brand could benefit significantly from a few changes in their social media strategy, website design, and brand image development. We also observed that the majority of their donations currently came from corporate partners. While corporate partnerships were great, through further research we spotted a massive opportunity to increase individual donations. With all of these observations and insights in mind, our overall strategy aimed to create a stronger and more consistent brand image, grow non-corporate donations, streamline social media presence, and build greater community awareness for this purpose-driven client.


situation analysis


strengths • • • • •

strong and unique mission tangible outcome (physical backpacks) past and current corporate partnerships distinct brand color the founder is a UGA alumnus

s weaknesses • • • • •

opportunities • • • • •

potential partnerships with more companies college students looking for volunteer opportunities holiday season campaigns to drive donations capitalize on indivisual donations potential to expand to other cities/states



poorly designed and confusing website website and social media lack call to action inconsistent and cluttered social media confusion between TBP Inc. and TBP Athens low brand awareness


threats • • • • •

many philanthropic organizations/nonprofits in Athens other organizations appear in optimal search results multiple social media accounts students have lower disposable incomes misinformation on people experiencing homelessness


let’s zip over the competition uga miracle Website: Yes Facebook: 7,456 likes Twitter: 2,781 followers Instagram: 4,743 followers Branding: light, playful, energetic, bubbly Target Market: UGA students, Greek life members

uga relay for life Website: None designated Facebook: 6,848 likes Twitter: 2,811 followers Instagram: 1,877 followers Branding: edgy, clean, event-focused, bold colors Target Market: Students and Athens residents


uga heros Website: Yes Facebook: 7,001 likes Twitter: 2,603 followers Instagram: 1,813 followers Branding: welcoming, authentic, bold colors Target Market: UGA Students

bigger vision athens Website: Yes Facebook: 655 likes Twitter: No account Instagram: No account Branding: clean, simple, formal, informative Target Market: Athens locals

the challenge The Backpack Project, Inc.’s mission is to ease the burden of homelessness, one backpack at a time. Even at our first encounter with this philanthropy, we could sense the potential for major success and sought to ensure their strong and unique mission was championed in the Athens community. In the past, The Backpack Project, Inc. had been successful making notable corporate partnerships including State Farm, Mercedes-Benz, and the Atlanta Braves. Our challenge was to create a new, integrated brand identity that would reintroduce them to the target market right under their noses; 18-25 college students. Athens is full of young, philanthropic students that are eager to get involved and make a difference. However, inconsistent social posts, random color choices, text-heavy posts, general clutter, and no clear brand voice in their communication efforts led this humble philanthropy to be largely ignored and forgotten. So what did we do about this?




research With a goal to get a better understanding of TBP’s target audience, we created a survey to learn about donation behavior of individual students. The survey was distributed to different student clubs and organizations, as we wanted to know more about students who have already shown an interest in being involved in their community. The survey resulted in 48 respondents from University of Georgia students, and the questions focused on topics of nonprofit perceptions and donation motivations.

Our respondents’ philanthropic interests include... human rights

45.7% 45.7% animal 23.9% rights children’s hospitals 2.2% homelessness relief medical research


This puts us in a great position! 15

Our respondents learn about nonprofits through...

80.9% 78.7% 31.9% 16

word of mouth social media website

This will help us in balancing advertising and public relations efforts.

What our respondents want to know about organizations before donating...

We’ve got that!

80.9% presence in the local community

Then how about we let them know?


how funds are distributed


client name The Backpack Project, Inc.

creative brief

key fact The Backpack Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which packs backpacks with food, clothes, and toiletries and hand-delivers them to those experiencing homelessness



target market


TBP has no clear brand identity and therefore lacks brand awareness

18-25 year olds, more specifically college students; located in the Athens and Atlanta areas; have interests in philanthropic causes and organizations

Donations will go towards purchasing backpacks and supplies such as food, toiletries, and other living essentials




To design a clear brand identity

Students are more likely to donate to a cause that affects their local community

The Backpack Project Inc. name, primary logo, slogan, core brand colors, proper typefaces, website URL and social media handles

To build brand awareness To educate the target market about TBP and their mission

Students value organizations that are honest, and like to hear directly from memebers of that organization


target audience profiles donor dan Dan is a 38 year old man who works on the sales team of State Farm. He is an alumi of UGA’s Terry College of Business and likes to volunteer in his free time and develop corporate giving back initiatives.


charitable charlie Charlie is a 21 year old student at UGA and is involved with Young Life, UGA miracle, and works part-time at the UGA library. He has a heart for the Athens community, so he likes to support local businesses and organizations.

philanthropic paige Paige is 19 years old and is involved in Greek life on campus. She often posts venmo requests on her Instagram to raise money for her sorority’s philanthropy, but also supports other non-profits around Athens by attending percentage nights. She passes people experiencing homelessness on her walk home.


the strategy


1. establish a stronger brand identity

2. improve digital presence

3. drive greater community awareness

4. increase personal donations

new brand image

social media

PR events

fundraising campaigns

new brand voice

website redeisgn

press releases

email marketing


new brand identity


visual audit Prior to any enhancements of our own, The Backpack Project, Inc. had made a name for itself, yet lacked a visually consistent and impactful brand. Where before a glance at their brand may have led to confusion, we wanted the world to see what we saw in our client; a humble yet professional organization that packs a punch where it matters. In our visual audit of TBP, we noticed an overabundance of colors in all of our client’s communications, which contributed to cluttered and confusing brand image. We condensed this palette down to a concise and consistent three core colors. As there was also no clear consistency in TBP’s typography, we selected two fonts: a bold yet approachable and simple sans serif for headings, and a friendly and clean serif for body copy.


core font

Acumin Pro Condensed Bold


abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz body copy

Kefa Regular

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ core colors

secondary colors #cdd6dd #efeb96

TBGreen hex: #873c4b


Giving Green hex: #c1dc86

TBGrey hex: #575958


look and sound Our team recognized the potential for The Backpack Project, Inc.’s original logo to be misunderstood as a provider of backpacks rather than a provider of homelessness relief. In light of this we crafted a brand-new logo that featured a zipper tab, representing the importance of what goes inside our client’s backpacks rather than the backpack itself. In order to communicate a feeling of professionalism and trustworthiness, we featured our core font in the new logo as well. This new logo was also featured in newly designed polos and business cards for the client. Another inconsistency we discovered was our client’s brand voice which, through careful deliberation of brand personalities, was molded into a single, more professional voice that speaks with authority but embodies more personable and humorous characteristics. All around this voice avoids the more depressive and accusatory voices common among philanthropies involving more sensitive issues.


2015 old logo

2020 new logo



business cards

new polos


digital and social renovations


the socials Our client’s digital and social efforts had hit a plateau before we joined their ranks. We discovered just the right places to tweak and improve these platforms in a way that turned that plateau into a launching pad. When we put The Backpack Project, Inc.’s social media accounts under the microscope, we found obstacles similar to that of their brand identity. An array of off-brand colors were being employed in a number of posts as were a collection of different voices that attempted to speak for the brand. They also relied heavily upon text-heavy posts that had no clear hierarchy, which can leave viewers overwhelmed. We went to work on implementing these changes, updating their social media profiles, implementing proper brand color usage, and employing a consistent brand voice in captions, so as to keep our audience updated and interested.


new handle new profile pic accessible donation link

branded highlights

old profile


new profile

location tag

brand color utilization information hierarchy 400% increase in likes old post

new post


puts a face to the name

meet the team

example posts: facts and announcements


followers can see their impact

the website The Backpack Project Inc.’s original website was boxy, multi-colored, and plain. The website was created from a Weebly template and showed little branded content. The format was hard to navigate with multiple sub-pages and lacked consistency. Paramount above all changes was the addition of a front-page donate button so that those considering would not need to look further. Other renovations included an increase in front page statistics as well as efforts to aid in the flow of the website overall. The new website now appears more modern, organized, and clean. We believe that this new website layout will increase visitors, improve SEO, and drive more donations with its easily accessible layout.


promotional video

donate button

home page


clean, sleek, simple

mission statement


navigation bar

new professional headshots

our staff page


friendly, hopeful brand voice

about us page


paid ads Our client had an interest in testing paid advertising on social media to support growth efforts. We worked with a $75 budget to create a brand awareness campaign focused on estimated ad recall (the number of people expected to remember seeing an ad from The Backpack Project). After testing and determining the best creative elements for our ads, they ran for a total of two weeks, targeting UGA students with interests in charity and nonprofits. The campaign resulted in 1,710 estimated ad recalls, with a low cost per result of $0.04.


clear call to action

backpack with branded tags to aid in brand recognition

paid advertisment on facebook


community awareness


homeless heroes day In order to increase brand awareness among Athens and Greater Atlanta community, we first focused our PR efforts on our client’s annual event, Homeless Heroes Day, in which the client’s corporate sponsors send representatives to pack a pre-pledged number of backpacks to then distribute across the city of Atlanta. For this special event, our team created vertical banners for the event space, a digital welcome pamphlet that was sent out before HHD, and backpack tags that would aid in brand recognition and awareness efforts. Additionally, we had Talking Dog Agency’s production team attend the event to capture footage showcasing the sponsors and the TBP team packing a total of 1,250 backpacks.


standing banners


digital welcome pamphlet


social media handles

backpack tags


showing how the community comes together to help TBP

capturing the new branding


the backpacks of course! 47

zombie donuts % night Our team also reached out to the owners of the Athens donut shop, Zombie Donuts, to team up with them for a percentage night that gave our client 15% of Zombie Donuts’ profits between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. The main goal of this event was to increase our client’s brand awareness in the Athens area. While the percentage night supported an increase in donations from the percentage of sales received, the event also supported PR efforts. Partnering with local small businesses in the Athens community allows for The Backpack Project, Inc. to build a stronger relationship with their community.


promotional instagram post


love your community Our second event was a collaboration with The University of Georgia’s Terry College of business. The program Terry Takes Time is an initiative created by Terry College that encourages student involvement in various local philanthropies and nonprofits. On February 14th, 2020, TBP hosted the event, “Love your Community”, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Students wrote handwritten letters that would be placed in the backpacks, which would then be distributed to the Athens homeless population. We designed custom stationery for the event upon which over 30 letters were written. By encouraging UGA students to personally connect with our client’s mission, we helped establish a relationship between our target market and The Backpack Project, which can lead to future donations, volunteer time, or membership in TBP.


promotional instagram post


tradtional PR Further PR efforts included establishing relationships with newspaper and magazine publications in the Athens area, as well as local radio stations. In October of 2019, we reached out to WUOG 90.5 FM and booked airtime for a public service announcement that let the community know what TBP is all about. This allowed us to reach Athens locals outside our student demographic and reassure them of the influence TBP is having on homelessness statistics in their neighborhood. We also wrote two press releases: One put a community spotlight on the sustainability grant that The Backpack Project, inc. received from State Farm in September, and the other publicized The Backpack Project, Inc.’s annual Homeless Heroes Day event. These press releases were sent to publications in areas that have a Backpack Project chapter, including Augusta, Athens, and Atlanta so that people with prior knowledge of TBP might relish in their accomplishment and be reminded of the difference they can make through our client.


On Friday, November 8, 2019, The Backpack Project Inc. hosted their 3rd annual Homeless Heroes Day Event in Atlanta, GA. They packed 1,250 backpacks containing over 50,000 items total for people experiencing homelessness. With the help of over 150 volunteers, The Backpack Project Inc. distributed the backpacks throughout Atlanta to The Salvation Army, Veteran’s Empowerment Organization, and The Nicholas House. Amelia Merritt, a State Farm employee volunteer stated, “It is inspiring to everyone to see what these college kids are doing… they saw a need and wanted to make a change. They have the power to change the world.”“It is really incredible to see the volunteers coming back each year and leading the packing process. It’s obvious that we partnership are improving each year,” The Backpack Inc. co-founder with local radio station press release Project example and board member, Zack Leitz stated. State Farm, Mercedes-Benz, QTS, LexisNexis, U.S. Health Advisors, and U-Haul were sponsors of the event. After the backpacks were filled, keynote speaker, Julia Kelly from United 53

personal donations


fill the backpack After discovering the game-changing difference that individual donations could have on The Backpack Project Inc.’s success as a nonprofit, we executed two personal donation campaigns during the holiday season due to the annual uptick in donations across all philanthropies. Our Fill the Backpack campaign, which we launched on Facebook, lasted from November 19th until December 24th. We encouraged individuals to sign up for our emailing list so that they could receive updates on donation totals, as well as a personalized holiday thank you card from the team. By establishing this connection now, The Backpack Project, Inc. can continue to reach out to these generous individuals about TBP’s future endeavors.


facebook fundraising page and instagram promotional post


12 days of giving To really capture the giving spirit during the Christmas holiday, we also launched a 12 Days of Giving social media campaign whereby we posted creative and bright reminders to donate during the winter season. These posts included fun facts about The Backpack Project, Inc. as well as informative statistics on the state of homelessness in Georgia. The posts also served as a visual recap of TBP’s year by including photos from memorable distrubutions and events. We believe that by reminding followers of TBP’s mission, rather than asking them to make a monetary contribution, allowed the local community to form a longer-lasting and more personal connection with The Backpack Project, Inc.


instagram promotional post 58





instagram followers




instagram engagement



personal donations



unique website visitors



21% organic search website trafiic



16% facebook total engagement

it’s all in the numbers By implementing our strategy during the 2019-2020 year, we were able to produce some amazing results for the Backpack Project, Inc. In September of 2019, The Backpack Project had a following of 140 on Instagram. We saw this number increase to 219 as of April 1, 2020. That is a 56% increase! From our organic posting efforts on social media with updated branding, we were also able to increase overall engagement by 35% on Instagram, compared to the previous 6 months before we began working with TBP. This is huge, knowing that Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms for our audience. During the winter season of 2018, TBP raised a total of $546 in personal donations. Thanks to our two holiday campaigns, we were able to increase this amount to $1495 for the 2019 holiday season - a 174% increase! Online donations were made through both a Facebook fundraiser and through the TBP website. The Backpack Project, Inc. saw some significant increases on their website as well, with a 19% increase in unique visitors and a 21% increase in organic search website traffic. We are excited to publish our updated website in early April and see even greater results through better SEO and branding efforts.


future reccommendations


increase SEO and develop relationship with followers

blog posts on website

community building and awareness

partnerships with other local nonprofits build relationships with media outlets for future press releases

continue branded social media paid ads for donation campaigns

use the brand guide!

retarget engaged audience 65


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