Better Business Bureau launches branding push

ARLINGTON, VA: The nonprofit Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) has launched a $1 million branding and public outreach effort encouraging consumers to consult BBB databases prior to making purchases or contributing to charities.

ARLINGTON, VA: The nonprofit Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) has launched a $1 million branding and public outreach effort encouraging consumers to consult BBB databases prior to making purchases or contributing to charities.

CRT/tanaka helped the BBB create a more uniform logo for all of its 128 chapters and develop a tagline: "Start With Trust." The agency also conducted media outreach with a variety of general-interest and business trade titles. The efforts should help give the 95-year-old nonprofit more of a national reputation among consumers.

"We did not have branding consistency in the 128 branches in the US and Canada; many were only loosely adhering to guidelines for what their Web site should be," said BBB VP of communications Steve Cox. "That's not a bad thing if you look at it in a vacuum. But given the global nature of business today and the Internet, we felt it was important to present a consistent front."

Capstrat aided the BBB with a Web site redesign that makes all individual chapter sites appear more uniform and organizes the extensive databases of the BBB into more searchable formats.

Cox noted that the BBB last year received a record number of consumer complaints - 1.2 million - but that only about 22% of consumers in the past three years have contacted the BBB to get information about organizations.

"We're saying, 'Let us help you make informed decisions,'" Cox said.

Along with media outreach, the BBB is also stepping up promotion of itself through sponsorship of National Public Radio programs, as well as print, outdoor, TV, and radio ads in various local markets over the coming months. The BBB has also begun publishing "BBB Insiders' Guides" on such topics as buying a home or starting a business on e-Bay.

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