Non-Profits

Culture eats strategy for what?

Culture eats strategy for what?

Does culture eat strategy for lunch? Not really. But will a misaligned culture eat up your strategic efforts? Probably. Does it make sense to pay careful attention to an organization's culture and not just its business strategy? Absolutely!read more
Award for Museum Exhibition Advertising Design

Award for Museum Exhibition Advertising Design

Along with our client, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, we are proud to have won a first prize in the American Alliance of Museums' 2016 Museum Publications Design Competition.read more
"She Who Tells a Story" at National Museum of Women in the Arts

"She Who Tells a Story" at National Museum of Women in the Arts

While the popularity of She Who Tells a Story is undoubtedly affected by the curiosity and national climate of oversimplification and stereotyping that surrounds the Arab world and Iran, the real engine for attendance is the quality of the exhibition itself. (Also, we're proud of our advertising campaign.)read more
What business are you in?

What business are you in?

What business are you in? I have found this question poses a challenge in almost every engagement, surprising participants. It wakes people up as they realize that they cannot answer or cannot agree on the answer. "If we cannot agree on who we are or what business we are in, how is anyone on the outside going to understand or guess right?"read more
Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

Tronvig Group Brand Pyramid

We are developing a Brand Pyramid download that will walk you through the process and pose the questions for your organization, your company or your product. It will walk through how you can use these questions to expose strategic weaknesses and fix them.read more
What is your story?

What is your story?

I’ve never felt moved to support an institution like American Ballet Theatre, even at a level as basic as buying a ticket to a show. But once I heard this story and saw the face of one person in the company, it made me think that I must go.read more
Strategic Plan (Carpe Diem)

Strategic Plan (Carpe Diem)

We traveled safely from Washington D.C. to New York on the 7PM train Tuesday, May 12th. The 7:10PM train which could just as easily have been our train was not so lucky. On hearing the news that we were unharmed I got an email from our client in D.C. with the sign-off "carpe diem."read more
Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

What is the difference between a visual brand and a true 360 brand? How do you get your organization to think beyond just the visual brand?read more
The Farmyard: Decision-making in Large Organizations

The Farmyard: Decision-making in Large Organizations

If you are like most institutions the pressure to capitulate to the requests of powerful factions within your organization is likely very real.read more
Nonprofit Marketing Return on Investment

Nonprofit Marketing Return on Investment

Return on investment in a brand initiative is very important. Measuring the results of any initiative and doing proper goal-setting for a project is an essential part of good governance, of good strategic behavior. But how do you measure the return when you are not really selling widgets?read more
Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Carnegie Hill Neighbors is hard at work preserving, protecting, and improving their Upper East Side Manhattan neighborhood. Tronvig Group helped them to find brand expression through a new keynote message that answers not only what and how they help Carnegie Hill, but why they do it and why anyone in the neighborhood should care about the valuable work they do every day, much of it unsung or behind the scenes: "Because it's our home."read more
College Brands (Can colleges save millions by having better brands?)

College Brands (Can colleges save millions by having better brands?)

How strong is the average college brand? How well are America's liberal arts colleges able to meaningfully differentiate themselves from each other?read more
Museum Camp: Can you take it with you?

Museum Camp: Can you take it with you?

With Museum Camp (now in its second year), Nina Simon is trying to find a way to infect our thinking long enough for it to dent our obstinate surrounds. We should be trying to help.read more
What is the brand of New York? (Historic House Museums)

What is the brand of New York? (Historic House Museums)

We don't always think of cities as having brands, but they certainly do. While some cultural institutions are actually strong enough to be active builders of the brands of their fair city, most are not, and most historic house museums are certainly not in such a position. But each institution's history and meaning in relationship with the existing brand of its city is a factor in its success.read more
Museums and Race

Museums and Race

Does thinking about race make you racist? No. Does not thinking about race make you racist? Unfortunately sometimes yes. These are uncomfortable issues and hard to look squarely in the eye, but they are standing right in front of you. Time to say hello.read more
Goals & Goats (How do you set strategic SMART goals?)

Goals & Goats (How do you set strategic SMART goals?)

Strategy is born from deep inspection of the question Why? Why is this goal important? If I cannot get to a good answer to why this goal makes sense in the context of my strategic vision, then the goal is suspect (or the strategy is suspect).read more
Your Brand Idea: Who but Horton can hear it?

Your Brand Idea: Who but Horton can hear it?

If your Brand Idea is succinct, meaningful and consistently and coherently expressed, it will be able to break free. It will be hearable outside of your brand bubble, outside of Whoville.read more
Custom Web Experience: Vineyard Theatre

Custom Web Experience: Vineyard Theatre

The Vineyard Theatre is a wonderful nonprofit theatre that produces three new shows every year. One of America's preeminent places for the creation of new plays and musicals, the Vineyard has produced an astounding array of notable and award-winning works by both new and well established playwrights.read more
What if museums were run like successful companies?

What if museums were run like successful companies?

If you are not marketing and innovating, you will be eliminated from the market place. In business this happens all the time. More than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 no longer exist. Maybe this sounds like an entirely different world from yours. I'd suggest that it is not.read more
Hopebox

Hopebox

Hopebox for the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation.read more
History in Context: Guantánamo Public Memory Project

History in Context: Guantánamo Public Memory Project

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project uses first-person accounts, "Stories;" historical context, "Timeline;" and geography, "Place;" to create a rich picture of this unique place. Our final design presents a metaphorical window through which you can now see the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base—as a place, as a history, as a collection of real people's stories—more clearly.read more
The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation

Is your organization searching for ways to engage the local community and do so effectively? Meet the experts: The Harwood Institute.read more
NYU Center for Spiritual Life

NYU Center for Spiritual Life

New York University was calling. It turned out to be the newly minted Center For Spiritual Life. When I spoke to the co-director, a lively, amiable and eminently likable Ms. Shy, I asked what they needed done. She answered with the now dreaded assertion, “We want a new website.”read more
Customer Personas: What Sally Can Show You

Customer Personas: What Sally Can Show You

A persona is a kind of mental model—an imaginary person with a name, history and story who has a way of doing things. A persona should have enough psychological detail to allow you to conveniently step over to the persona's view, and see your products and services from her perspective.read more
Consumer Insight: Find Your Trim Tab

Consumer Insight: Find Your Trim Tab

What can you do that will be effective at getting the word out, but will not break the bank? Is there a relatively inexpensive tactical shift can you make right now that will yield significant long term results? The answer is yes. It's just a matter of finding it. It will not be obvious or easy.read more
Reversible Destiny Website

Reversible Destiny Website

The new Reversible Destiny Foundation website is a metaphorical extension of their persistent and active interference with death and the death-dealing habits that populate a normal life. She aims no lower than to free you physically and mentally from the confines of assumption about your body, your perception of the world, and—very literally—to free you from death.read more
The Work of Hope Microsite

The Work of Hope Microsite

Rich Harwood published the Work of Hope. Tronvig Group designed the book and created this microsite for it as part of the larget branding and marketing work that we are doing for the Harwood Institute of Public Innovation.read more
Strategy Applied on the Web: Center for Social Inclusion

Strategy Applied on the Web: Center for Social Inclusion

Two years into its young life, after we initially created it, the Center For Social Inclusion website needed a refresh.read more
Museum Marketing: Think Like a Consumer

Museum Marketing: Think Like a Consumer

Odds are you already deliver on what people need. The trick in museum marketing, as in any kind of consumer marketing, is to think beyond what you do or how you do it, and focus on why your target would want it.read more
Call me trim tab.

Call me trim tab.

So what do you call this thing that does NOT take massive effort, but has the potential for great positive effect far beyond its seeming capacity? I think one very good answer to this question was was provided in 1972 by Buckminster Fuller when he said the following in an interview ...read more
SWAN (Shuang Wen Academy Network) Brochure

SWAN (Shuang Wen Academy Network) Brochure

Shuang Wen Academy Network is a Mandarin after school and summer program. Their website and collateral are in three languages. English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.read more
Open House New York Website

Open House New York Website

The result of this design effort, done in collaboration with their Paul Lombardi, is a sprawling, image-driven website that showcases the rich architectural treasure trove that is New York City.read more
New-York Historical Society Museum Website

New-York Historical Society Museum Website

Last summer Tronvig Group answered a proposal request to redesign and rebuild the New-York Historical Society's institutional website. Last week it became a living, breathing entity on the web.read more
Morris-Jumel Mansion Website

Morris-Jumel Mansion Website

"From concept through to final website design & development, Tronvig Group displayed a unique capacity to effectively utilize 21st Century technology to interpret the historical significance of this 18th Century treasure." —Ken Moss, Director, Morris-Jumel Mansionread more
Nonprofit Brand Basics

Nonprofit Brand Basics

For any organization, arguably your most important brand asset is your name. Some names are better than others at explaining why you exist and why you matter. So, along with the name, most organizations also need a tagline. The tagline can serve various roles. For a nonprofit its most important role is clarification. Some nonprofits have very practical taglines that do a good job of explaining why someone should support them. Others have taken on a very catchy marketing style and are often lofty sounding but vague. Sometimes these work. More often they do not.read more
Brand as Defense Against Attack

Brand as Defense Against Attack

Branding is often managed like a propaganda war for the hearts and minds of brand consumers. This aligns with Wikipedia's basic description of propaganda: "As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience." Propaganda is not really about the truth, but about influencing minds, and so may resort to a variety of tactics such as errors of omission, selective truths and the straw man fallacy to make its case. Interestingly, if you look at the history of advertising and propaganda, they both came of age as vehicles of mass persuasionread more
Addressing Objections: Web Conversion

Addressing Objections: Web Conversion

Objections are always there. Dealing with them is basic to the sales process.read more
Translation for Websites

Translation for Websites

In my halcyon days as a translator of Japanese, I once read that "even good translations are like tapestries viewed from the back." I thought this apt because it was damn hard to do a good translation, and even the good ones were really reconstitutions of the same content in a new skin. There was nothing really direct about them.read more
Brand Truth

Brand Truth

Our statement about brand truth—”We prefer truth. It gets you farther faster and holds tremendous power.“—was recently criticized on Twitter for being “grand and presumptuous.” My first reaction to this criticism was humor: “We just like it better than the alternative, and it’s a lot easier to keep track …”read more
MDLF First 15 Years: Underwriting Democracy Through the Fourth Estate

MDLF First 15 Years: Underwriting Democracy Through the Fourth Estate

The Media Development Loan Fund, or MDLF, is a pioneering international non-profit organization formed in 1995 by Sasa Vucinic and the late Stuart Auerbach with seed money from George Soros' Open Society Institute. The idea behind MDLF was to create a loan fund for the free press in fledgling democracies. Now celebrating 15 years and nearly 100 million dollars in loans, 200 projects in 24 countries around the globe, MDLF wanted to create a book to commemorate its achievements.read more
Third Wave Foundation map

Third Wave Foundation map

read more
Brand Impact on CSI (Center for Social Inclusion) Reports

Brand Impact on CSI (Center for Social Inclusion) Reports

It has been about a year since we finished re-branding the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI). What is the brand impact of this work?read more
All for Africa ad released in Fortune Magazine

All for Africa ad released in Fortune Magazine

The March 2010 issue of Fortune magazine features an All for Africa ad created by Tronvig Group for the nonprofit organization All for Africa.read more
Center for Social Inclusion website
Center for Social Inclusion Brochure

Center for Social Inclusion Brochure

"Tronvig Group is made up of talented, trustworthy and tactical people, led ably by James Heaton." —Maya Wiley, President, Center for Social Inclusionread more
Alston Bannerman Brochure

Alston Bannerman Brochure

The Alston Bannerman Leadership Initiative is one of the programs of the Center for Social Inclusion. The brochure is tightly within the brand framework we created for the Center for Social Inclusion in the previous year.read more
Annual Report: Center for Social Inclusion

Annual Report: Center for Social Inclusion

This 2009 Center for Social Inclusion annual report has served as the basis for subsequent reports and is an outgrowth of the brand system we devised for them in 2008.read more
Energy Democracy

Energy Democracy

One of many reports Tronvig Group has designed for the Center for Social Inclusion, this makes use of the color system where gray is a reflection of current reality, and blue (in this case somewhat whimsically) illustrates the future vision.read more
Leading Reform, Mississippi

Leading Reform, Mississippi

This report created early in the process of codifying the Center for Social Inclusion brand system does not yet have the gray and blue color scheme, but it still walks the line well enough to comfortably fit in the company of the other reports. The handwriting and hand-colored counties are inspired by a drawing we commissioned from my then 7-year-old son.read more
You’ve got 30 seconds.

You’ve got 30 seconds.

"If your single most persuasive idea takes more than one sentence to explain, it probably isn't single. Or persuasive." —Lee Clow's Beard from Twitter, January 14th 2010. This is a bit of an exaggeration, but I make a habit of telling my clients that they only have thirty seconds to convey their keynote brand message. And we work very hard to achieve this so that the website (and most of the time we are having this discussion in the context of a website) communicates its essential truths immediately and with word and visual expression.read more
One Region: Promoting Prosperity Across Race

One Region: Promoting Prosperity Across Race

One Region: Promoting Prosperity Across Race was the first project we did for the Center for Social Inclusion. It was done prior to our having developed their current brand, so the design process was guided by pre-brand principles of decisions made against the benchmark of personal taste and intuition instead of on the basis of adherence to agreed-upon brand principles.read more