Baby Talk: March of Dimes Rebrands

NEW YORK The March of Dimes is stepping out with a rebranding effort, geared at raising awareness of its public health programs for all expectant mothers.

The nonprofit, founded by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, has become a familiar household name reaching roughly 90 percent name recognition across America, according to internal research. But the problem is that only 45 percent of those asked actually knew what services the March of Dimes provides.

“We want to improve our mission awareness,” said Doug Staples, svp, strategic marketing and communications at the March of Dimes, White Plains, N.Y. “We’ve been able to build a community and provide a valuable service to parents [with problematic pregnancies], but we want to broaden our outreach to include also those mothers who are having a healthy pregnancy. It’s not changing our mission, but it’s changing the way in which we go to market. We want to let the moms know that we’re a one-stop resource for trusted information.”

Part of changing the way the organization goes to market includes reworking the traditional logo, which will now appear in purple, with typographic changes geared at making the group seem “less corporate” and “more approachable,” according to Staples. Similarly, the group’s well-known WalkAmerica fundraiser will be rebranded as “March for Babies,” to more clearly underscore the March of Dimes’ mission.

“Before, we were perceived as being much more involved with serious health problems [for infants and pregnant mothers], and that’s still our mission,” said Staples. “But we want to be known as the organization that’s there for all babies.”

The rebranding effort is the March of Dimes’ first in more than a decade. A new TV, print, out-of-home and radio campaign, per Barkley, Kansas City, Mo., will support the effort. Earlier this week, the group launched its new March of Dimes Baby.org Web site.

March of Dimes spent almost $55 million in measured media (excluding online) in 2006 and $15 million through November 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.