One of Philly’s most exciting nonprofits found itself at a crossroads earlier this year. Just as The Wardrobe was preparing to relocate its main store in the city, COVID-19 struck. With logistics under threat, the organization turned to its pro-bono agency partner Brownstein for help. A few months later — thanks to Brownstein’s team — The Wardrobe successfully built brand awareness in its new community and launched a brand-new website.
“Our partnership with The Wardrobe has been a meaningful part of our agency’s work since the start of our relationship two years ago,“ said Erin Allsman, EVP and Managing Director at Brownstein, recently appointed to the board of directors at The Wardrobe. “But our work with them today comes at a critical moment, and shows the impact that agencies and their creativity can offer communities in difficult times.”
The nonprofit organization first opened in 1995 as Career Wardrobe to help low-income women with professional attire for job interviews. But after recognizing a gap in services in the city, the organization started to offer casual and professional menswear as well. Now known as The Wardrobe, the organization is open to people of all gender identities looking for the clothing they need to move forward in life. Helping people through all kinds of transitions — from prison to civilian life, from homelessness and unemployment to the labor force, and through difficult gender transitions — The Wardrobe’s role is more critical than ever.
This important pivot brought new life to the organization, and its website, developed by Brownstein’s digital team, shows it. The accessible platform is built around being highly informational and actionable. Simple but bold UX design presents the most important information to site visitors, while connecting them directly with the resources they need. The website is fashionable and chic, but also clean and modern. Close collaboration between Brownstein and The Wardrobe allowed the design to adapt to new content and copy as the organization developed new messaging and policies for COVID-19 shopping.
Throughout the summer and fall, Brownstein’s pro-bono work stretched across an integrated range of disciplines in support of The Wardrobe. In order to back up the relocation and build awareness for the organization’s new community and mission, Brownstein provided PR, digital, social, and creative services to create buzz surrounding the new store opening.
When The Wardrobe moved into its new home, and celebrated its 25th anniversary, it did so with renewed public enthusiasm thanks to promotional materials, radio, print, and out-of-home ads. Media coverage surrounding the move highlighted The Wardrobe’s mission, including why their work is more important now than ever, and how their new space will allow them to better serve the public.
The agency also helped The Wardrobe design and implement new in-store signage, social distancing floor stickers, and newspaper ads. The radio spot developed by the team supported custom-designed postcards in reaching out to community members and building awareness, while The Wardrobe received strategic social media advice from Brownstein’s social team — allowing the organization to focus on fulfilling the needs of clients and their mission. The digital out of home, newspaper print ads, and radio spots were all supported by outreach and solicitation for pro-bono inventory carried out by partner Harmelin Media.
“It’s been really great to have a website that is intentionally crafted by professionals, and it will be invaluable to offer this resource to our clients moving forward,” said Lisa Winder, Marketing & Events Coordinator at The Wardrobe. “This Thanksgiving week, we are immensely thankful for the work Brownstein has put into this and many other projects with The Wardrobe.”