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Content Strategy for a Brand in Transition

What does it take to evolve from the biggest brand that nobody knows into the smallest brand that everybody knows?

What does it take to evolve from the biggest brand that nobody knows into the smallest brand that everybody knows? This was the challenge the leadership group of Team Rubicon gave to my team at Threespot. Team Rubicon is a humanitarian organization that serves global communities before, during, and after disasters and crises. Formed in 2010 by a small group of former Marines compelled to service following the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the organization has quickly grown into an internationally known, volunteer-driven humanitarian and disaster response force.

The answer to their question, of course, is complicated. Like any organization transitioning from its start-up phase into a more stable maturity, Team Rubicon faces numerous challenges. As we began our collaboration to redesign their primary website experience, the organization sought to preserve the scrappiness and ambition that is core to its DNA while professionalizing its operations and brand touchpoints.

Team Rubicon serves various and diverse constituencies whose needs and expectations naturally evolve throughout their relationship. In the specific context of their website users, Team Rubicon serves audiences ranging from seasoned volunteers with the brand logo tattooed on their arms to community members in disaster-stricken communities just hoping to confirm the organization is legitimate.

To ensure Team Rubicon’s new website was optimized to serve the needs of all of these current and potential future users, Threespot developed a content strategy designed to clarify for newer users who they are, what they do, and how to get involved, while also enticing more invested users to stay engaged with Team Rubicon even after their first conversion: be it a sign-up, donation, volunteer engagement, or otherwise.

The new content strategy relies on a circular inform-act-engage model that transcends the traditional, linear, and rigid engagement ladder approach, ensuring that Team Rubicon’s users at any phase of their relationship are presented with logical and appealing entry points. Site content categorized as Inform content creates understanding and a shared vocabulary, Act content creates an emotional reaction designed to drive actions, and Inspire content demonstrates impact, celebrating success, and encourages re-engagement. To further optimize user engagement through content, Threespot developed a personalized content strategy and technology solution that dynamically customizes select aspects of the site content and calls-to-action based on certain characteristics of site visitors, including their location, referral pathway, and other behavioral patterns.

In any of our web or application development projects, Threespot approaches content strategy not as a discrete deliverable but as a framework that informs an ongoing conversation about how best to use content to meet audience needs and business goals. Paired with a thoughtful measurement strategy and defined KPI, the Team Rubicon content strategy will provide this growing organization tools to continually measure, analyze, and optimize the effectiveness of its website content for years to come.

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