BATS Improv innovates the craft of improvised theatre through engaging, playful, creative performance and training. It is San Francisco’s most highly acclaimed and longest-running improv company and school and the center for the unique style that BATS pioneered — a one-of-a-kind blend of theatre and comedy inspired by audience suggestions and created on the spot by highly skilled actors.
As creative as this organization is, they were having trouble identifying and communicating their brand. Their logo was used inconsistently and didn’t accurately convey their professional playfulness. Show posters and marketing emails had no unifying design or point of view. Their website was uninviting, hard to navigate, had no clear message, and didn’t present all the information that their customers needed. On the back end, it was very difficult to manage, resulting in out of date information and constant stress for the webmaster. They needed a complete brand and website overhaul.
Adding to the rebranding challenge was that BATS is really three organizations: a company and theatre, an improv school, and a group training and custom entertainment provider. Like so many nonprofits, BATS was understaffed, with no dedicated marketing or communications personnel. Past experience with consultants had not produced measureable results, in part because the recommendations were not implemented. Thus, BATS leadership’s decision to rebrand was met with skepticism from some staff and company members.