As the COVID crisis began to take its toll on the city and its people last year, two distinguished New Yorkers, Marc Holliday, CEO of SL Green, and Daniel Boulud, the celebrated chef and restaurateur, decided to take action to help. Marc and Daniel were two of the driving forces behind the creation of a non-profit organization established to help feed the city’s frontline workers who were working day and night.
SL Green, New York City’s largest commercial landlord and a long-standing client, approached OTTO Brand Lab for help with the branding of the new organization. The team was more than happy to help an organization with such an amazing mission. David Kohler, OTTO’s Founder, talks about the OTTO team’s experience naming and branding of what became Food1st. Read more to find out how the branding project was accomplished in little more than a weekend.
What was the non-profit trying to accomplish during the Covid-19 crisis?
David: Food1st is a food program created to help frontline workers, while helping address the food crisis in the city. The program provided the workers with healthy food instead of cold pizza and 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.
How did you and the team approach branding Food1st?
David: 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.
Did you experience any other challenges during the project?
David: 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.