“The most successful businesses will consistently deliver high touch to customers with one of the oldest traits … the telling of a story.” Jim Blasingame
I have a long history with the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma. In 1991, I designed a church building loan brochure for them. Over the years, I created other promotional materials, and in 2011-2012, served on their communications advisory committee. For that reason, I find their rebranding not only one of special interest, but one that contains the hallmark of a great brand … a great story.
Recently, after a three-year rollout, the Foundation officially changed its name to WatersEdge. Established in 1946, the organization realized they had outgrown their name. According to WatersEdge CEO Robert Kellogg, “The word ‘foundation’ is simply too limiting — it doesn’t accurately describe the broad suite of financial services we’re able to provide to individuals, families, churches, ministries and institutions. Besides, few know what a ‘foundation’ is anymore. It’s a vague word that doesn’t resonate, especially with younger generations.”
When the Foundation began the rebranding process, they wanted a name rooted in Scripture. Lots of ideas were tossed about — some good, some not so good. They hired consultants and branding experts to help, and names like Everlast, True Vine, Reverent, Upshift, and Invok were proposed and rejected. After almost settling on Lamplight, it was rejected as well.
At this point, they were frustrated and out of ideas. Then came what has been described as divine inspiration. One of the Foundation staff member suggested the name WatersEdge, remarking she was struck by the number of miraculous biblical events that happened at or near the water’s edge. She mentioned Moses parting the Red Sea and Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River, but it was the story of Christ calling His first disciples in Luke 5 that resonated most.
After borrowing Simon’s boat to pull away from the shore so He could teach a crowd gathered along the Sea of Galilee, Jesus asked him to take the boat into deep water and drop his nets. Simon, who had already spent the night fishing and caught nothing, reluctantly agreed. But this time, when Simon attempted to bring up his nets, they were so full of fish the boat began to sink. Simon called to his partners, James and John, to bring out their boat, and both boats were filled. Here’s what followed:
“Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:10-11)
This is the real miracle of the story — not the nets full of fish — but that a man’s life so shaken by an encounter with Jesus that he was willing to leave everything at a moment’s notice to follow Him. Jesus called Simon, James and John to something radically different, changing not only their eternal but earthly destinies.
Kellogg goes on to explain: “It’s that kind of change that drives WatersEdge. Our purpose is to financially empower donors and ministries to transform lives with the Gospel.”
WatersEdge not only touches lives through its services, but through a compelling story that drives its branding.