BE BHM

Branding | Website Design | Video Production

Urban Impact Inc. came to us and asked for “the works” for their new initiative BE BHM, a program aimed at connecting local entrepreneurs to the resources they need to be successful in Birmingham, AL. We worked with them to build the brand from the ground up. They wanted their branding, website, and a promotional video all done ahead of their launch.

THE AUDIENCE

The program was aimed at entrepreneurs who were predominantly Black—ages 25 to 55—in the Birmingham area. The curriculum for the program had already been implemented in other cities, and BE BHM was inspired by the casual, hip-hop feel that some of the other cities had in their programming.

Branding

The branding was inspired by the colors and geometric shapes of 90s hip-hop culture. We kept it polished enough to garner support from local sponsors, but it was still edgy enough to appeal to their audience. It also allowed them to stand out from the other business development programs in the city.

Elijah Davis

urban impact, be bhm

Kayla’s background in film, journalism, and African American Studies is invaluable. A mission-driven firm, her creative process includes the historical and present treatment context of the African American experience. She is able to offer quick, meaningful redirection of communication goals for identified audiences. For our BE BHM project, an initiative focused on supporting Black entrepreneurs in Birmingham, her storytelling direction resulted in 13,000+ views on Facebook (the most in UII’s history) and a new brand equity for Urban Impact in the community and marketplace.

Website Design

Since BE BHM was a new program, we didn’t have participant testimonials or alumni content like the other programs. We decided to focus on establishing the urgency of the problem in Birmingham by using animated infographics on the homepage. We also prioritized making the details of the program and the application accessible to potential participants.

Video Production

The BE BHM promotional video was limited to one minute, which was exciting because it forced us to get creative. We couldn’t go the route of a talking head explaining the details of the program, accompanied by b-roll, in a 2-3 minute promo. That wouldn’t have been aligned with the brand we were building anyway.

We took a visual approach that aligned with the hip-hop aesthetic of the brand. We got to the people-centered root of BE BHM’s why and drafted a voice-over script around that. We paired that narrative with shots of familiar landmarks around Birmingham and footage of business owners in the historic Black 4th Avenue Business District.

The goal of the video was to build community buy-in from the small business community and its advocates. We let the visuals do the work of capturing their attention and rallying them around the mission, and we let the website fill in the details.