Rebooting an Outdated Brand to Expand a Donor Base

Amarillo Symphony Orchestra

Dr. Andrew Hay, Executive Director


An orchestra with history

For nearly a century, the Amarillo Symphony has delivered dazzling musical performances in a region with a rich heritage and western sensibilities. Our orchestra is filled with outstanding local talent and world-renowned guest artists. We’re located in a breathtaking, world-class performance hall. We’re a hidden musical gem set in the middle of 25,000 square miles of the wide-open Panhandle plains.


Big legacy with a limited future

Our audience and donor base were not growing with our expenses and budgetary needs. We thought a fresh logo would help, but our challenge was actually deeper. We had a decades-old system that completely relied on our legacy with no plan to future-proof our existence.

While we love them, our present donors won’t sustain us forever and it’s easy to foresee the financial implications. Our staff structure needed some reimagining, we were spending way too much on marketing with little ROI, our visual branding was outdated, and our online presence was weak, but something else was restricting growth. Our concerts were well attended, but inspiring a diverse, multigeneration patronage seemed past our reach.

We could talk around our issues from every angle but couldn’t zero in on the language to address a real solution that resonated with everyone at the table.


Rediscover the reason

Our initial call with Kem and her team made it clear we needed more than a facelift. We needed to unearth the core of why we exist in a way that would compel the community to join in the effort.

In a one-day sprint workshop, we summarized the Symphony’s larger goals in the region. We then applied some new tools to condense our language so we could renovate internal structures, refresh the visuals, and map available channels so that the right content went to the right people in the right place at the right time. All the particulars and action steps for meaningful change were just easier to define and make happen when we applied what we learned.


The power of purpose gives broad appeal

We discovered how to communicate that our final product is something even greater than music. The ASO is committed to a stronger community through the power of music.

Clarifying and entrusting our story to our stakeholders gave us the collective muscle to break through old systems. ASO found its voice, which guided our visual direction and shaped our attainable goals which included more programs designed to inspire, educate, and unite different cultures through the power of music. Our online formats now presented a human face and a story …
which was received with enthusiasm.

We’re making a larger, lasting impact and experiencing more support and attention from a wider audience.

“Kem Meyer and her team handed me the tools I required to align my staff, my board, the musicians, the Guild, and our community with a goal that everyone could understand and embrace. Together we’ve zeroed in on how to hit a wide range of people in the heart and inspire them to enjoy and support our incredible musicians and guest artists…and to believe in the power of music to do something even greater.”

Dr. Andrew Hay

Executive Director at the Amarillo Symphony