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Ankuri Rebrand and Restructure

From product photography to web development, I established this Indian nonprofit's first online marketing presence. They now reach audiences in America and Europe. I also conducted a network analysis for my undergraduate thesis to determine overall health of the nonprofit.

Problem

This nonprofit needed to build a brand and marketing presence from scratch in order to sell beautiful knit products and to bring voluntourists to their bed-and-breakfast. They also wanted to evaluate the NGO and restructure.

OUTCOME

I built two websites, and also conducted an analysis of the success of the nonprofit as a whole, which became a thesis. This nonprofit has grown significantly and now reaches markets in America, Europe, and areas of India.

ROLE

I conducted brand and market research, product photography, font and graphic design, website development, and academic research.

 
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RESEARCH METHODS

Getting to know the village \\ Group discussions \\ 33 Interviews \\ 30 Audio profile stories \\ Exploring the market


Getting to know the village

It was vital for our group to understand the culture of the village if we were to help the nonprofit through branding, marketing, and a potential restructure. 

Therefore, we spent the first week casually stopping by houses, going on walks with locals, and attending family gatherings, a wedding, and the local shops. We also began teaching English and learning to knit from the women.


Group Discussions

We held group discussions about life in the village and pros/cons of the nonprofit. This was a casual beginning to the more formal interviews that would take place later. We used the cultural insights from these discussions to rewrite our interview questions.

INTERVIEWS

We conducted 33 interviews, which were vital for our branding project and for insights on restructuring the nonprofit. We asked about:

Backgrounds on education and skills

Family life and troubles

Finances

Network connections (friends, mentors, etc)

Successes and failures of the nonprofit

Empowerment opportunities and struggles

Descriptions of favorite knit product

Ideas on what the nonprofit brand was

AUDIO PROFILES

We recorded and transcribed 30 audio profiles of nonprofit participants, in order to dig deeper into life stories of knitters. These later became a book written by Luna Archey. These profiles also gave ethnographic details for the network analysis.

MARKET ANALYSIS

We traveled to local shops and markets to understand current products, competitors, and marketing strategies and did a competitive analysis.

KEY INSIGHTS

Branding Insights \\ Marketing Insights

Our fieldwork was ongoing throughout the development of our branding and marketing projects, resulting in constant new insights and pivots.

BRANDING INSIGHTS

With so much ethnographic field work and knowledge of local customs and market structures, it became clear that our brand had to be about much more than a craft product. Below are the key insights (among many others) that informed our branding decisions.


Group Discussions

The market structure of a nonprofit in India is an extremely complex and competitive one, and we were forced to think about a groundwork approach that utilizes social media and local partnerships. Our key insights were: 

DESIGN

Photography \\ Iterative Logo Design \\ Storytelling \\ Website Development \\ Social Media Campaign

Utilizing insights gained through fieldwork, I created a brand that featured a local designs that could appeal to a broad audience. I developed 2 websites and my team kicked off a multi-part social media campaign.

Since I kicked off the original marketing and branding, things have continued to change. One of my shortcomings was that the website required too much webdev expertise to manage, so ANKURI has since switched to Squarespace. Visit their website and support this great cause!

photography

It was important that the photography reflected the location and the strong community of the village. Though it took some coaxing, the knitters modeled their favorite knit pieces to be sold online.

SOcial media campaign

Pictures such as the one shown here were posted on Instagram and Facebook — often in community groups — along with the stories of their knitters.

ANKURI WEbsite

The architecture of the website was straightforward. More importantly, the social media campaign brought visitors to this website. Later, partnerships were established with Fab India and the University of Michigan's Modern Art Museum.

bed and breakfast website

A separate website was designed to draw in voluntourists — those interested in helping with the nonprofit while staying in the foothills of the Himalayas. 

In addition to providing a new marketing platform for ANKURI, I conducted an undergrad thesis to provide a structural analysis of the nonprofit.

In addition to providing a new marketing platform for ANKURI, I conducted an undergrad thesis to provide a structural analysis of the nonprofit.