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“Do you guys help with re-branding programs?” Dr. Hans Finzel, president of CBInternational was concerned about an aging image and its impact on missionary recruitment and donor acquisition. “CBI has already been through a major re-branding -- but that was more than a decade ago and the market has really moved since then,” Hans declared. “We’re in a new century...a new millennium...and I want to make sure we’re not only relevant, but that we’re perceived as a top-drawer mission that people can’t wait to join.”

As a 60-year-old missionary sending agency, CBI was also affiliated with the Conservative Baptist denomination, complicating Hans’ desire to pursue a change. But an M/J team was assembled to research the issue and develop a strategy not only to change the ministry’s name and visual identity, but also to help retool its website and recruitment strategy and materials.

“It was a significant task,” said Barry McLeish, M/J vice president and co-leader of the project. “We recognized the degree of emotional attachment to the existing name, so we spent quite a bit of time communicating within and without the organization Hans’ rationale for change. We also developed a series of questionnaires and interviews with different staff teams designed to involve them heavily in the re-branding project.”

In addition, a series of electronic and printed communications were developed to involve partner churches, prospective missionaries and existing missionary teams, keeping them abreast of developments and soliciting their feedback to “rounds” of potential names. This included a series of on-line surveys that checked combinations of brand characteristics and their importance to various constituencies, as well as rating and ranking potential name selections. Ultimately the M/J team, working with a selected committee representing various groups within CBInternational’s staff and management, narrowed the choices from more than 600 possibilities to five recommended names. From these the name WorldVenture was selected to replace CBInternational.

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“I liked it immediately,” said Hans Finzel. “It captures the spirit of excitement and adventure that we believe characterizes world missions in the 21st century. But it also defines us as a proactive ministry that seeks to accomplish big things, bold ventures designed to impact our world for Christ. We have a great name!”

Building the brand beyond a new name meant selecting new corporate logotype, colors, typestyles, imagery, and using them to create new marketing materials. Much of that effort was carried out in-house by the ministry’s marketing-communications team. M/J provided assistance -- particularly in the creation and implementation of a new website -- a partnership that involved a number of WorldVenture staff working with M/J senior consultant Ron Frey.

During the eight month process, M/J also helped the CBI/WorldVenture team to shape vision, mission and values statements that serve as the foundation upon which the “new” organization stands.

M/J worked with WorldVenture’s VP of Personnel Development, Dennis Vogan, and his team to re-tool recruitment strategies, messages, materials and processes. “Jeff McLinden and Barry McLeish helped in a variety of ways to challenge us to new and better ways of thinking about these critical areas. They helped us produce new and better recruitment messages and materials. And even helped rebuild our application processes, our missionary training programs and procedures. Bottom line is that we saw marked increases in recruitment within months after implementing these changes.”

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WorldVenture continues to address issues surrounding the re-branding -- it isn’t easy keeping more than 500 staff deployed across the globe on the same track! But in Hans Finzel’s mind, the project was an overwhelming success.

“It was the right thing to do and the right time to do it,” he said. “The guys at McConkey-Johnston helped us in so many ways to pull off a huge task. I value their partnership and appreciate having had the chance to work with them.”