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Telling a Sustainability Story Through an Award-Winning Digital Experience.
Rewild is an employee-owned solar energy development company that specializes in conservation-minded solar installations. They aim to not only provide clean energy through solar arrays but also to rewild and protect vulnerable lands. Rewild came to Fishnet looking for help telling its unique sustainability story through a rebrand and new website experience. At the time, the company was struggling to properly communicate to communities and landowners how a solar panel array could actually promote a land’s biodiversity and leave it in a better condition than it was found.
Exploring a Unique
Approach to Sustainability
As part of Rewild’s mission-driven work to actively protect and conserve lands, the company sequesters carbon, supports wildlife habitats, and restores biodiversity through the careful preparation, installation, and continuous management of solar energy installations. With interest in solar energy for community and individual use growing across the country, Rewild offers a timely opportunity – and a different approach – for landowners looking to make passive income from their land while keeping it protected and wild.
Addressing the Important Solar Panel Questions
We kicked off the engagement by having extensive conversations with company stakeholders to understand Rewild’s differentiating value, how it has developed over the years, and where the brand wants to go in the future.
Much of the company’s forward-looking development rests in effectively communicating its mission and vision to landowners and communities that could become solar customers. Rewild struggled with engrained perceptions of solar panels having to be placed on roofs, as well as a general lack of awareness that a solar array on a parcel of land can actually provide benefits to that land’s biodiversity and natural habitat.
Our goal as we developed Rewild’s brand message and sustainability story was to clearly and concisely communicate the benefits of their approach to solar energy installations while being sensitive to those existing perceptions of where solar installations could go and how they would look.
Rewilding the Brand:
A New, Powerful Message
Through our conversations with the Rewild team and our industry research, we identified the brand’s differentiating message that would resonate most with its target audiences. Similarly, we wanted to strengthen Rewild’s overall brand message to more clearly explain who they are, what they do, and why it matters to people and the planet.
We identified a key component of their messaging: one of the more significant benefits of leasing your land to Rewild is generating a passive income on that land while it is being used for solar energy production. Introducing potential customers to the idea that they could make money from their land without having to develop it or sell it off – and that after a certain number of years, they would get that land back in excellent condition – is a significant differentiating benefit and something we wanted to specifically call out as part of their brand messaging.
Depending on the solar panels and system output, as well as the type of forest, species, ages of trees, and concentration of trees per acre, solar energy can prevent 60 to 300 times the amount of carbon per acre per year than an acre of trees sequesters annually.
Transforming Visual Identity:
Clean Energy Never Looked Better
In conjunction with the brand messaging work, our design team began curating a new visual identity for the Rewild brand that would more effectively reflect the brand’s mission and sustainability efforts through purposeful colors, fonts, iconography, imagery, and other visual elements. We also redesigned the brand’s logo and integrated a subtle but powerful tree image for the letter “L” to further emphasize the brand’s focus on sustainability and earth-friendly business practices. The use of green and yellow earth tones conveys a clean and environmentally friendly feel, and we have incorporated these colors strategically throughout the website to offset content and consistently reflect sustainability and a “green” brand mission.
Building a Brand That Can Grow and Change
The user experience design was a critical part of our work as we wanted to help Rewild tell their differentiating story in an engaging way that would serve their two key audiences – landowners and community leaders – so each audience could intuitively discover the benefits of working with Rewild and get a positive feeling about Rewild’s mission.
Rather than pepper the site with different images of solar panels, we instead employed natural landscapes and real people in nature, creating a sense of inspiration and attainability so the brand’s target audience could see themselves as Rewild customers and good stewards of the environment.
“We’ve always been proud of the Rewild mission and our ability to impact landowners and communities with a complete approach to sustainability and renewable energy, but we did need an effective way to communicate our message and showcase our brand. Fishnet tied all the pieces together for us with a website experience that tells our story and provides a clear path for our potential customers to learn why what we do is so important.
Pat Jackson, Senior VP of Business
Doing More Than Talking:
Conveying a Planet-Positive Ethos
Among the feel-good earth tones, beautiful landscape images, and relatable photography of landowners and community members, we wanted to ensure that the site was conveying responsibility and sophistication so as to build trust among potential customers.
What we appreciate about working with brands like Rewild is their authenticity in being sustainable. They don’t just talk about sustainability – they actively practice it not only in their work but also through philanthropy to land conservation organizations like The Nature Conservancy. It is far more successful to build a website experience for a truly authentic brand rather than a brand simply capitalizing on a trend.
There are a lot of brands out there claiming to be sustainable and planet-positive, and it can be hard for consumers to parse through the marketing speak to understand exactly what that means.
Rewild’s new brand messaging and visual identity were specifically developed to be clear, concise, knowledgeable, and thorough, helping establish that trust immediately and leave no doubt as to how the company does what it claims to do.
A New Website to Experience a Great Sustainability Story
We implemented the new brand messaging and visual identity into the new website experience, which was first and foremost focused on enhancing the user experience for both landowner and community audiences.
The updated website offers an intuitive navigation that brings each audience to the information they care most about, and effectively communicates the brand’s purpose, sustainability mission, and differentiating benefits.
Through careful design and search engine optimization, the new site successfully conveys how Rewild transforms land in any condition while leveraging it for clean energy production – and in 2023, the site redesign received a Gold Vega Award in the Responsible Technology category, and a Gold AVA Digital Award.
Inspiring Growth and Development in Solar Energy
Since the website’s launch, Rewild has been able to more clearly and effectively communicate its mission, sustainability story, and distinct environmental practices.
A rebrand and website redesign create excellent resources to point potential customers to during initial conversations and help legitimize your brand and foster trust.
Rewild’s new website experience, coupled with Fishnet’s content optimization efforts, have led to notable increases in traffic and improved site sessions, which are attributable to a more intuitive user experience geared specifically toward the brand’s primary target audiences.
Rewild’s entire business model is centered around sustainability and renewable energy, and we were able to take that focus and create a revamped brand message and visual identity that more clearly represents and communicates their unique mission and impact. The new digital experience accurately showcases Rewild’s sustainability story and gives their audiences a better way to learn about the benefits of working with this incredible team.
Jared Lemos, Co-Founder and Managing Partner,
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