Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services: It’s a name that uses a lot of words to say very little. And that’s tragic, because it belongs to an organization that does vitally important work. This is the story of how Well Done helped the organization pull off a brand overhaul that will help it pursue its mission more successfully than ever.

 

IPAS logo

The original logo of Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services.

Since 1977, IPAS (the abbreviated sobriquet used by its employees and partners) has worked to protect the legal rights of and advocate for Hoosiers with disabilities, addressing everything from abuse and neglect to discrimination in education and employment.

That explains the name—but a good name should require no explanation. Furthermore, a good name should be memorable and concise. According to IPAS Director of Communication and Outreach Jessica Trimble, the length of the name “Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services” was frequently a liability.

“Just last year, a radio reporter who was having trouble fitting it into her news segment decided to cut it from the story altogether,” Trimble said.

When Trimble arrived at IPAS in 2015, the federally funded, independent state agency was undergoing a significant organizational shift. It was the perfect time to address the organization’s branding challenges. So Trimble and her team requested proposals from several marketing firms, ultimately choosing Well Done Marketing.

“What set Well Done apart was their robust approach to research,” she said. “They understood the importance of getting to know the people we serve, and they took the time to have conversations with audience members and stakeholders that other firms often don’t take.”

After several weeks of qualitative and quantitative research—including a deep dive into digital analytics, a thorough review of other state P&A agencies, and interviews with IPAS advocates, attorneys, commission members, partners, sibling organizations, and client organizations—Well Done found that IPAS’s clients, partners, and associate organizations were eager to see the organization present itself with more clarity and confidence.

Most of all, it became clear that the organization had outgrown its original name. “Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services” was vague and long-winded. Most problematically, it failed to say exactly to whom the organization provided protection and advocacy.

So Well Done recommended a new name: Indiana Disability Rights. Not only does it address the audience that IPAS exists to help, but its comparatively low syllable count leaves plenty of room for a tagline. We arrived at one that describes the organization’s mission—and how it achieves it—in three simple words: “Equality through advocacy.”

Indiana Disability Rights logo

In just six words, the new name and tagline tells the organization’s brand story in concise, clear, and compelling language. “It’s six great words that really describe what we do,” Trimble said. “We couldn’t believe that it only took six words.”

Indiana Disability Rights rolled out its new identity on June 1 to an “overwhelmingly positive response,” Trimble said. “The feedback has been wonderful. And the new name has facilitated us being viewed as experts more quickly.”

Not only has the new identity helped the organization present itself to the world with more power and clarity—it has also engendered pride and a sense of purpose among staff members during a critical time in the organization’s evolution. “The staff is really excited about the new name,” Trimble said. “It really represents what we all do on a day-to-day basis. And that is one of the most exciting things to see—how happy our staff is about the change.”

“The new name has facilitated us being viewed as experts more quickly.”

Well Done is honored to continue working with Indiana Disability Rights. Currently, we’re scripting several online videos aimed at helping people with disabilities understand their voting rights, and making sure poll workers are educated on accessibility at the polls.

Meanwhile, Indiana Disability Rights continues to raise its profile as Indiana’s leading authority on the rights of people with disabilities through increased social media activity and a bigger media presence.

Now armed with a strong brand, they’re poised for unprecedented success—and that means a more equitable Indiana for people living with disabilities. “This has really made a difference for us,” Trimble said. “And it is really helping individuals to live out their best possible lives.”