Roanoke Cooperative

Rebranding with restraint.


Roanoke Electric Cooperative has provided electricity to 15,000 members in rural North Carolina for 85 years. Progressive new senior management wanted to expand the products and services the co-op offers, so it could further enhance the lives of its members. The first new product in the pipeline was brand new high-speed internet service. However, members only ever knew Roanoke for one thing: electricity. So marketing a new, non-electricity product was unchartered territory. The co-op was also saddled with a tired, generic, 30-year-old logo that graphically represented electricity and that was shared by many electric cooperatives across the country.

Challenger Brand Solution

To position Roanoke Electric Cooperative for expansion of its product and service line, it was clear to GKV that the co-op needed rebranding. But it was also clear that the rebranding needed to be evolutionary, so it would not jeopardize the eight decades of trust the co-op had established with its members. Following our rigorous brand development process, we proposed a rebranding for the co-op that included three components: a name change, a new logo, and a new tagline.

The name change.

Our solution was subtle, but profound. We simply removed the word “Electric” from the name. The shortening to “Roanoke Cooperative achieves two big goals: It gives the organization the perceptual space to offer products and services beyond electricity. And it preserves the long-standing familiarity and security that members have with their co-op.

The new logo.

Our new logo design is a bold departure from the old, quiet, undifferentiated “green ball” logo. The new large “R” screams loud and proud that this is Roanoke’s logo. The right side of the R is shaped like a lightning bolt, signaling to members that the co-op’s core product is still electricity.

The new tagline.

It was vital to reassure members that while their co-op’s name and logo have changed, the co-op’s deep commitment to serving members has not. In three simple words, the new tagline declares that the partnership between Roanoke Cooperative and its members is and will continue to be as strong as ever.

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