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Empowering Youth. Changing Lives.

Through in-depth research, in-house interviews and analysis we developed a renewed narrative and visual identify that better fits with the evolution of the Foundation.

Group of Canadian youngsters hiking in the mountains

Take A Hike empowers youth who experience vulnerability to change the trajectory of their lives with a full-time mental health and emotional well-being program embedded in an alternate education classroom. Together with public school district partners, Take a Hike provides youth with the skills and resilience they need to graduate high school, build healthy relationships, and achieve success—however they define it. We worked with Take a Hike to renew their brand to appeal more effectively to donors and other stakeholders.

The Business Challenge

Over Take A Hike’s 20-year history, the program had evolved dramatically, but the brand narrative had not kept pace. In particular, the mental health programming that is fundamental to the program today was not reflected in marketing, which remained focused on the other two pillars of Take a Hike’s approach—high school education and immersion in the outdoors.

The long-standing logo was a drawing crafted by a Take A Hike alumnus, so it held special value for the team. Part of Junxion’s mandate was to retain the essence of this graphic element, while refreshing or reimagining it.

The COVID-19 pandemic was another challenge. Fewer opportunities for face-to-face communication and peer support had impacted the program’s delivery and funding initiatives. It was essential to understand as much as possible about Take A Hike’s donor base to maximize online fundraising efforts.

How We Helped

Building on previously completed work on organizational values and fundraising, Junxion began by renewing Take A Hike’s brand narrative to tell Take A Hike’s story more clearly. Junxion brought in database specialists Environics to segment the donor database and identify demographic groups, their attitudes, and their motivations. With this expansive analysis in hand, we then tested the findings with a custom-designed donor survey.

We complemented that research with deep, in-house interviews with Take A Hike team members before crafting individualized, key messages for each of the stakeholder groups.

The TrustBrand Manifesto we developed for Take A Hike frames their narrative around caring, connection, choice, and impact, and is anchored in a new tagline, ‘Empowering Youth. Changing Lives.’

Education, immersion in the outdoors, and mental health are the three-legged stool on which the Take A Hike program rests. Achieving the right balance between the three was key to the success of this project.

The logo and brand guidelines were the last piece of the puzzle. Working with an existing logo is always a challenge, and we were careful to evolve it to reflect Take A Hike’s current identity while remaining true to its essence.

“Junxion established a strong connection with our team from day one. When deadlines changed, Junxion was flexible but focused, and we hit the milestones at a pace that worked for us. I found the donor survey invaluable for confirming what we knew and identifying where we need to learn more. We’re feeling very prepared going into strategic planning, which is an indication that the project was a success!”

– Larissa HayesDirector of Development, Take A Hike Foundation

Measuring Success

The Take A Hike team is equipped now with a far deeper understanding of their donors—and potential future donors—and a strong, contemporary positioning strategy, narrative, and visual identity. The brand is anchored firmly in the difference Take A Hike makes—for youth, staff, and communities, as well as for funders and donors.

The consistency of all the brand components is helping Take A Hike to engage and activate their donors and others supporters, while bringing the organization the recognition it deserves for its incredibly valuable work. The refreshed visual identity has been well received and helps Take A Hike stand out in a competitive fundraising environment.

Photos copyright of Take A Hike Foundation. Used with permission.

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