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CSA SFM

“Our printed materials, advertisements, trade show banners and website are all aligned, helping to create a consistent image and message.”
—Pat Salm, Consulting Strategist

The Client

Most of us recognize the letters “CSA” as representing the Canadian Standards Association. This group is renowned for their international work in developing standards for the protection of our health and safety. The CSA’s Sustainable Forest Management certification is the new standard in sustainable forest management—it’s a buyer’s assurance that CSA certified wood products have been sustainably grown and produced. CSA SFM certification represents more forest lands than any other sustainable forestry standard.

The Challenge

In addition to needing a brand refresh and refocus, CSA was competing with larger organizations in the U.S., groups that had invested heavily in branding and marketing. In addition, the CSA SFM name was not very descriptive, and the double acronym was confusing to many. Red Rocket Creative Strategies was hired for the task of unifying the messaging across their many touch points and heightening brand awareness by better defining the organization’s logo and supporting materials. In short, they needed to “compete with the big boys” and present an image that faithfully represented the valuable work the organization was doing.

The Solution

We began our due diligence by researching like-minded organizations (particularly those in the U.S. that were competing directly), gaining industry perspective and understanding what was working and what wasn’t. We also interviewed stakeholders to get a better sense of the organization’s core values, which were essential for us to develop the rebrand.

Working from this information and perspective, we updated the logo and brand, incorporating the full name CSA Sustainable Forest Management to ensure clarity and understanding. We then supported the logo with a new tag line, “Your assurance of Canada’s highest standards.” This strong and
cohesive statement not only provided further clarity, it also helped reinforce the organization’s integrity and purpose.

With the logo and tag line in place, we established brand guidelines for all the organization’s communications. The guidelines featured illustrated images of leaves with a distinctive photographic style, combined with a fresh, optimistic colour palette. This image selection helped convey the attributes of sustainability, bio-diversity, product utility and conservation for future generations.

The organization’s website was restructured, not only to adhere to the new brand guidelines, but also to deliver a more visually dynamic impact with much easier navigation. We also added an e-newsletter feature, developing a template for the CSA to publish the newsletters in house while ensuring brand consistency with flexibility in the creation of content. The CSA relies on trade shows to help communicate the organization’s purpose and work. The new brand standard was applied to a series of inviting and informational trade show display structures. We also conceived and developed series of ads featuring the headline: “Sustainable forests sustain us all,” featuring people-centric images that emphasize the importance of sustainability for future generations. The advertising campaign was featured in appropriate industry publications. The ads educated buyers on the advantages of CSA SFM certified products. These creative solutions were all designed to be strikingly different than the status-quo style of trade ads and trade show booths.

Finally, to support communication at all levels we designed and printed fresh CSA literature that reinforced the new brand. A new brochure blended practical information with compelling photography to deliver a concise and impactful message about the importance of the CSA SFM standards and work. We also produced a supporting presentation folder with four “shingled,”colour-coded insert sheets that tucked neatly into the pockets. This design allowed the client to update only the necessary portions of the informational materials without having to reprint an entire document.