Red Sauce

October 15, 2014

The Courage to Brand

The Courage to Brand

A 32-year history of helping women achieve lasting change. Remarkable training and mentoring programs. Partnerships with leading employers from Boeing to KeyBank.

Yet Washington Women’s Employment and Education (WWEE) felt 
its good works were one of the region’s best-kept secrets.

Starting with WWEE’s board of directors, JayRay outlined a branding process that would build upon WWEE’s legacy—and help position it for growth. And because it was vital to understand what made WWEE undeniably distinct, JayRay recommended a thoughtful research approach that included board input, partner interviews and stakeholder surveys. 

As conversations continued and survey results poured in, themes emerged. 

WWEE isn’t your typical nonprofit, stated one community leader. “They offer something special, a sort of secret sauce!” That comment, combined with a desire to simplify the organization’s name, held the key. It’s not the sauce that makes WWEE distinct.

It’s courage.


Launching a new brand and a new name doesn’t happen overnight. WWEE spent much of the summer putting plans in place, starting with its own staff. 

To help make a big impact with a small budget, WWEE began to tease the new name with its annual luncheon invitations. A new logo, website and a series of artfully produced videos, unveiled at the Oct. 1 event, left little doubt that this organization has come full circle. 


Recently, a fellow JayRay team member and I were sitting around when she asked me, “Hey, Red Chair. What’s your ‘thing’?”

What?! I mean, JayRay is all about the Red Chair. My image graces JayRay’s letterhead, business cards and website. The Red Chair Branding process is an integral part of what we do here.

Those of you who have visited JayRay’s offices for meetings, events, 
ThinkLab sessions or just to say “hello,” have seen me in the conference room, on the walls and even hanging from the ceiling—although the ceiling isn’t the limit of where I can go.

I can be found hanging out at BOB, our “Back Office Bar," because sometimes, JayRay is also a place to drink…especially if the drink is Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale.

I even have a place at the office Scrabble table. (By the way, Libby, you’re up…mark me down for 12 points for S-T-R-A-T-E-G-I-C.)

But that doesn’t really answer the question. My thing? I’m a symbol, sure. A place to sit? Technically, yes. A bold statement? Always. But when it comes to branding, advertising and strategic communications, I’m all about the thinking. Just like JayRay.

Some brands are iconic. The Nike swoosh, Apple's apple, my “cousin,” the red cross. They tell a story. They immediately bring to mind what those organizations do, and what they stand for.

Or in my case…sit for.

Distinct. Bold. Inspiring. Irreverent. The Red Chair was born in 2001 from a union of creativity and rebranding savvy. Widely regarded and well traveled, the Red Chair is always available when it’s time to think about the harder issues. Stop by and visit the Red Chair, any time.