Established in 1984, the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED) was undertaking a rebranding initiative to position its services, increase awareness of its programs for women business owners, deliver value-added opportunities to its corporate partners, business members and other constituencies, and achieve brand clarity in the marketplace.

As a result of CEED’s exponential growth, the organization’s brand 30-plus year brand was overshadowed by several of its most successful programs, creating vast brand confusion in the marketplace and among its key stakeholders. CEED needed help with its current brand strategy, including a recommendation regarding a name change for the organization and/or its programs.



Following our selection through a highly competitive bid process, RW&A employed our proprietary Brand Nexus IndexSM process to perform a comprehensive assessment of the current activities, structure, operational impact, and CEED’s positioning among “best of breed” and peer organizations.

Utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methodologies—including surveys, focus groups, focused conversations and action planning—to evaluate the continued use of the CEED name and the potential impact of changing it.

Based on the data, RW&A recommended an organizational name change, developed a comprehensive brand strategy along with an implementation plan. Additionally, we evaluated the organization’s readiness, culture and strategic priority alignment to accelerate adoption of the new brand strategy and the results.

RW&A assessed, architected and delivered a comprehensive brand strategy that built upon the organization’s considerable brand equity, developed the new name and brand identity to effectively position the organization and achieve brand clarity in the marketplace. We also provided ongoing strategic counsel and implementation support.


RW&A successfully helped CEED unify, elevate and clarify its brand by renaming the organization to the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, provided a comprehensive brand strategy, visual identity package, launch plan with communication materials and implementation support.

Within five months of the new brand launch, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council achieved 43% attendance growth at its annual conference. Additionally, new certifications, certification renewals and corporate memberships also significantly increased during the next 12 months and has continued each year.


“Through a highly competitive bid process, we selected RENEE WALKER & ASSOCIATES (RW&A), a woman- and minority-owned business enterprise, as our consultant to help us navigate the rebranding and implementation process. RW&A provided exceptional counsel, data-driven analysis, a well-thought-out brand strategy and an actionable implementation plan that delivered immediate and long-term results.”


Cheryl Bowlson, president of Cheryl Bowlson Consulting, LLC and former board chair, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council


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