As New Yorkers struggled during the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, a non-profit called Food1st was established to help feed emergency service workers and those in the city who have had limited access to food during the pandemic. SL Green’s CEO, Marc Holliday, and the chef and restaurateur, Daniel Boulud, who helped start the non-profit, have partnered with restaurants throughout New York City to help with the ongoing food crisis.
SL Green approached OTTO Brand Lab (OTTO) for help with branding the new non-profit. The team at OTTO was more than happy to help a long-term partner with the branding of an organization with such an amazing mission. David Kohler, OTTO’s Principal, talks about the OTTO team’s experience naming and branding Food1st. Read more to find out how the branding project was accomplished in little more than a weekend.
OTTO: What was the non-profit trying to accomplish during the Covid-19 crisis?
David Kohler: Food1st is a food program that was created for frontline workers, while helping address the food crisis in the City. The program provided frontline workers with healthy food, because some of these workers were eating cold pizza and drinking cold coffee at the end of their shifts. We wanted to make sure those that were taking care of NYC’s sick were being fed well and staying healthy. The organization partnered with restaurants that were closed to help make the food to feed these workers. The program did two things, it helped restaurants pay their employees and it helped feed the frontline workers as well.
OTTO: How did you and the team approach branding Food1st?
David Kohler: Everything was happening at such a crazy time. They reached out to us on a Friday night. We agreed to help, and as a team we figured out a process. Then, we got started the next day. They initially needed to name the organization, brand it, create a brochure and a press release by that following Monday. We basically created the brand identity on that Saturday and got approval on Sunday, and got into the marketplace on Monday. We also had to create supporting materials to help get the word out and raise awareness and drive donations.
OTTO: Did you experience any other challenges during the project?
David Kohler: It was constantly evolving, and we had to explain to people what was happening. There were all kinds of requirements that would come up daily so we just rolled with it. Our team is diverse enough that we can help them with whatever comes up. Print, communication –– anything. That’s why SL Green came to us, because they needed a partner that could manage all of it and to help ensure it turns out at the level that’s needed. They are a long-term client who knows that they can trust us, and put us in charge of branding a project like Food1st. SL Green really benefited because we had just done something similar for Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen.
Find out how you can help by donating to Food1st here. To read more about a non-profit that’s helping during the COVID-19 crisis, check out our blog post, Helping a Commercial Real Estate Company Respond to Covid-19.