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Case Study: CLASP

Communication Strategy & Design for International Nonprofit

Executive Summary

CLASP is a nonprofit organization that has partnered with over 100 economies. They're on a mission to mitigate the growing energy demand in the developing world. They've become the leading voice for off-grid appliance energy-efficiency policies and market initiatives.

Since 2016, we've helped CLASP spread their mission. Over the years, we've provided a full-range of consulting and digital creative services. At first, they wanted to revamp their messaging and visualization strategy. They were looking for an updated modern look to reflect their domain shift.

CLASP wanted to redesign their primary website and messaging strategy. Through our discovery process, we identified an opportunity to grow their audience. We’ve rebuilt their communication strategy to attract the ideal audience personas. Our website design included a user journey for each persona.

  • Identified seven audience personas
  • Created a visual narrative with content strategy
  • Designed interactive tools

Is brand identity important?

CLASP approached us to redesign their website with the goal of better communicating their organization’s mission and programming. However, in the process of kicking off this project we discovered that their website was not only outdated, but also did not address the needs of all their various audiences. As an organization, CLASP engages with philanthropic institutions, governmental agencies, appliance manufacturers, and appliance energy experts, and yet their website really only spoke to the subject matter experts in their field. Additionally, CLASP had made great strides in the off-grid appliance space. Yet, their website did not acknowledge that work nor the impact they were making. A messaging or visualization change would not get them to their goal. We needed to rebuild their messaging and communication strategy from the ground up. And the first step was to understand their audience.

Build for your audience

We wanted to make sure we were building a website and strategy for the right audiences. Their goals had to align with CLASP’s. During our discovery phase, we conducted extensive interviews with key stakeholders, along with a thorough audit of their website and content. This uncovered many branding opportunities within a few key audience groups.

It was clear that CLASP appealed to subject matter experts. But, this influence alone would not help impact policy change. Through our interviews and analysis, we identified seven audience personas. These included national policymakers, international agencies, philanthropic donors, on-grid manufacturers, off-grid manufacturers, appliance energy efficiency experts, and clean energy access professionals. These groups had the influence and power to impact policy change. Locking in support from those audiences would help CLASP persuade energy mitigation.

Each audience had a different level of expertise and need for information. To get their support, we needed to figure out what content to create and how to present it. So, we conducted a comparative and competitive analysis on foundations and other nonprofit organizations. The analysis uncovered best practices to emulate, potential pitfalls to avoid, and how to differentiate CLASP from the rest. We used the information to develop the most effective user experience, content and design. The insight helped us craft the communication strategy for each audience persona. For example, philanthropic donors needed foundational information, while manufacturers needed more technical details. Each group had their own content type.

We created a detailed persona for each group. The personas included a demographic and psychographic overview. We listed goals, frustrations, challenges, and CLASP’s solutions. Each audience persona had a brief bio to pull all the information together.

Communication strategy with stakeholders

We worked with the CLASP communications team to develop an effective information architecture. This strategy served the right content at the right time to each of their many stakeholders. Our research has helped change the way CLASP plans their communication strategy for print, email, and other marketing materials. In addition, the personas have been used to plan and create their other websites and applications.

CLASP enables global change on a societal level through their nuanced work. Suits & Sandals created a thoughtful visual and brand aesthetic to mirror that. We designed and developed the primary website and visual narrative, along with supplemental materials, additional websites, and brand collateral.

The website design had to be user friendly and versatile. We wanted to create a user experience that met the needs of each stakeholder. From least to most technical, we created a user journey for each.

We included the topics of interest for each audience persona and built an easy to use navigation tab. We created the policy database, publication library, and economic finder to cross reference information. This makes it simple to search through CLASP's abundant amount of information. We organized and mapped the website to enhance the interactive experience.