Merger Branding and Communications

A.Y.A. Youth Collective


After years of successful collaboration, two nonprofit agencies devoted to helping youth in crisis move toward stability made the decision to join forces: 3:11 Youth Housing and HQ Runaway & Homeless Youth Drop-in Center would merge in order to provide a more complete continuum of services, increase their reach and impact, and to develop new opportunities for the future.
They invited Williams Group to help them establish their new brand and convey the transition
to the youth they serve, as well as donors and community partners.



In a series of workshops with leadership from both founding organizations and select youth participants, Williams Group facilitated a process of discovery, development and validation. We drew insights and ideas from the group, studied the strategic intent in merger planning documents and helped key leaders consider viable paths for the brand. Williams Group helped the team define a new, shared articulation of mission, vision and values, and we developed a platform of messages about the transition and the newly merged organization. We also created a fresh brand identity that brings out the best-loved features of the original organizations while signaling a vibrant sense of welcome and belonging.



The two formerly separate organizations relaunched as one, called A.Y.A. Youth Collective. A.Y.A. stands for As You Are, which is a commitment that every youth will find resources and authentic relationships, as they are. Wg supported the launch with a phased communications rollout plan, a visual brand identity guide, core messages as well as announcements for sharing the news with media and close contacts. “We envision a Grand Rapids community where every young person can count on strong relationships and stable housing as a foundation for their future,” said Executive Director Lauren VanKeulen. “Our unified organization is dedicated to this vision, and we have greater capacity than ever to help young people, alongside our many great partners and supporters in this area. Our new look and feel clearly conveys this intent
and energy.”