Rethink Breast Cancer debuts new look with a month of events

The charity is bringing its digital-first approach together with the need for in-person, community focused touchpoints.

Rethink-Breast-CancerRethink Breast Cancer is celebrating 20 years by introducing a refreshed look to Canadians with a month-long series of content and events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Throughout October, Rethink Breast Cancer is showcasing its new “assertive but friendly” typography, says founder MJ DeCoteau, to be more welcoming and community-oriented. Its previous branding consisted of mostly upside-down typography, which she concedes was a bit too “masculine.”

The brand refresh is, firstly, to reflect the organization’s evolution from a small group looking to provide learning and resources to young people to one of Canada’s leading breast cancer advocacy and education charities. But also, with so many different partners and touchpoints, it needed a more cohesive look that could be consistent.

DeCoteau tells strategy that while Rethink became a largely digital first organization in 2016, in-person touchpoints are very important as well. Hence, its decision to run a series of physical events, starting with its first pop-up boutique at Toronto’s Stackt market.

One thing Rethink Breast Cancer has been known for is its unique merchandise. Normally, DeCoteau says, the organization has done a small, pop-up media preview where it talks about what its marketing partners are doing for BCAM, relying on organic coverage and influencers to amplify the partnerships.

“But wouldn’t it be great if we have really focused collaborations with some of our partners and create a little shop?” DeCoteau asks. The pop-up is very curated, she explains, designed to showcase this year’s cause marketing partnerships (see, below) but also to spark great conversations with stakeholders.


Rethink-Breast_Manifesto ExampleAll of the products are still available through the retail partners, and DeCoteau says the organization is pleasantly surprised by the reception thus far, selling as much as $2,000 worth of product in a day.

Once the store closes up shop, it will give way to a photo exhibit called “Uncovered Gallery,” showcasing breast cancer experiences of BIPOC to “increase representation, understanding and listening” to their unique experiences navigating treatment.

Other content running this month include yoga classes at the Stackt pop-up, a podcast series with The Brand is Female and virtual roundtables on being BIPOC in the breast cancer space.

In 2015, the organization began ramping up its offerings to become more digital first, which DeCoteau says has given it its advantage in attracting younger donors.

That will be kept in mind when it launches the “Forever Forward” campaign this month. Developed with Taxi, the campaign celebrates Rethink’s evolution and achievements through a series of videos that feature powerful images of members of its community from the past twenty years.

The goal is to show that no matter how the organization evolves, it’s forever moving the cause forward by responding to the needs of its community, an idea core to the new brand manifesto Rethink has launched alongside the rebranding.

The digital component is mostly animated and Instagram-focused, as it’s a platform that’s really resonated.

“The message is that Rethink is a changemaker organization for all young people concerned about or affected by breast cancer,” she says.

Rethink Breast Cancer refreshed its logo and website thanks to the help of Scooter Film & Design, which has worked on Rethink’s brand identity in a pro-bono capacity since the charity’s very early days.