How can you give back meaningfully during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in Colorado? At Vermilion, we’ve asked ourselves this question a lot the past few months.
The impacts of COVID-19 are global. But as a small business in Colorado, we continuously look for ways to fulfill our mission and give back to our local Colorado community. After forty years of growing the good, we find that the biggest challenges often lead to some of the most creative and innovative solutions.
Such was the case when our friends at Gary Community Investments in Denver, Colorado reached out for our help. GCI was looking to create a public health enterprise in response to urgent needs within the Colorado community. The program provides organizations and community members in Colorado with a fast and affordable testing infrastructure, along with a symptom- tracking and contract-tracing app to use as a key component of their health and safety plans to reopen.
Their goals were straightforward:
- Offer fast, accurate and affordable testing options to schools and organizations
- Help students and workers get back into the community safely
- Provide the community with innovative symptom tracking and contact tracing tools
But they needed a brand to launch.
The Vermilion team jumped at the opportunity. Within days we crafted a name, brand identity and logo, strategic messaging, and a clean-cut website.
We quickly realized the program needed a functional name that wasn’t overly-marketed or clever, and instantly telegraphed what the program offers. We prioritized the use of positive, affirming words knowing words like “testing” could be perceived as intimidating, and “back to work” as demanding. With that in mind, the idea of ‘checking’ your status and the spread of the virus points to an impactful solution.
Thus, COVIDCheck Colorado was born.
We’re in this business to help directly impact the issues that affect our community. We call it “Community Karma.” It’s a value that is baked into our DNA at Vermilion. So this engagement was a privilege, and a shining example of the type of work we deeply value.
Working with the dedicated team at Gary Community Investments was exhilarating. The brand development project was an around-the-clock, three-week endeavor as GCI expertly gathered partners, labs, and software to implement the program—all while promptly responding to our strategic brand recommendations and creative design work.
A key partnership from the beginning was Aurora Public Schools. GCI’s CEO Mike Johnston, who served as the Colorado State Senator from the 33rd district from 2009 to 2017, commented that the COVIDCheck Colorado program, combined with other health and safety practices, “gives them the best chance at safely reopening, protecting staff and students, re-engaging those who benefit most from in-person learning, and restoring families’ ability to return to work.”
There’s no getting “back to normal.” We must figure out how to adapt and move forward, and this is a great start. I can say on behalf of the entire Vermilion team that we are thrilled to be a part of this innovative community effort that addresses real, tangible needs and will make a significant impact in Colorado and beyond.