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Project: Clean Drinking Water Brand Research

Location: U.S.-based organization, working in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa

My Role: Research Lead/Strategist hired by Mighty Ally 

Duration: 2 months (research scope only)

Scope: ​

  • Landscape Analysis (SWOT & Competitive Set)

  • Ecosystem Insight Generation

  • Collaborator Short-list


The Challenge

  • A successful organization focused on improving clean water access in disaster-hit and underserved regions had an incredible brand story, but sought strategy support prior to a milestone anniversary. They desired to focus their programming and donor dollars in the most effective way possible, as they were currently straddling both the "disaster response" and "clean drinking water" territories.

The Research


  • After an initial internal discovery workstream, we dove into the organization's position within the greater clean water ecosystem. As part of a SWOT analysis, we compared operational attributes (who does what, and how) to understand our unique ways of working.

  • Of the Clean Drinking Water Orgs, our client was the most disaster-focused. Their service delivery emphasized rainwater catchment and filters vs. longer-lasting but costlier wells/boreholes. These two insights served as unique "ownable" characteristics, which were reflected as well in our comparison of "competing" Disaster Response Organizations (not pictured).

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  • Next, we charted the greater clean water ecosystem from a more macro brand-positioning perspective: orgs with a focus on people vs natural resources, and policy-level change vs. ground-level, grassroots action. These continuums helped us to understand where we stood, and who stood closest to us in minds of donors.

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  • While not marketed as such to donors, our client operationally served as a last-mile implementing partner for larger aid organizations in the face of regional disasters. With this in mind, we highlighted expansion opportunities with large-scale aid orgsanizations, boasting tremendous reach and funding potential. We also outlined potential project partners that had not yet been top of mind.

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The Outcomes


  • In response to our research, the larger brand strategy and marketing/communications workstream that followed aimed to instill trust in both individual donors (B2C) and also larger foundations/global aid groups. Personas and messaging platforms created the foundations of a content strategy to reach these audiences based on their needs and expectations.

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