Our Work

Starlight Children’s Foundation

Starlight Branding

Our relationship with Starlight Children’s Foundation (Starlight) began in 2012 when we helped the charity to develop a new fundraising product. Our approach caught the eye of their brand team who invited us to work on their brand.

Starlight’s mission is “To brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families”.

The Challenge

Starlight is a household brand. In 2013, AMR Research reported the organisation was the most reputable children’s charity in Australia. Starlight told us they had 85% aided awareness, and we knew their organisation had recently been awarded as one of the best places to work in Australia. But we also learnt that Starlight felt their own creativity was pulling them in too many different directions. They craved consistency – and knew that this consistency needed to make them distinctive from other charities for sick children.

The Insight

We wanted to bottle Starlight’s impressive, existing culture. We wanted to capture it, and reflect that in a brand idea and branding system that would help people communicate the unique charisma of the organisation.

We identified common threads in the way volunteers, team members and even supporters described the organisation. We overcame people’s fears that becoming consistent would mean becoming boring – and we uncovered the common misconception – that no one would be able to tailor their communications and be “on brand” ever again.

We knew we needed to create consistency without things becoming dull, boring and very un-Starlight.

The Solution

Our solution has become known as “The Starlight Way”. It featured a simplified, more contemporary version of the logo and a complete branding system (verbal and visual) bursting with energy and fun. We spelt out a way for everyone at Starlight to (continue to) create experiences and communications that head in the opposite direction to the negative impact illness has on a family.

What made it Marlin?

Having landed on a distinctive brand idea, we truly sweated over the small stuff. Our handcrafted cardboard props, paintbrush effects, and water-coloured illustrations, were lovingly made by our creative team and deftly converted into usable design assets. Our copywriters developed a simple way for anyone to choose their language style and be ‘on brand’ by getting into characters based on Jung’s archetypes. We listened carefully to our visionary clients who really made sure the project landed smoothly and became immediately embraced as the right way to do things. We walked the walk and it paid off.

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