Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Promoting Active Transportation for All

Trails are for everyone: Families connect by embracing their local environments and celebrating the myriad surprises that emerge when they step into nature; urban trail users commute via these active transportation networks; and rail trails contribute to the physical and mental well-being of communities. Vanguard worked with this national nonprofit to ensure its brand echoed its current mission and future vision to expand the meaning of rail trails as well as the types of people who use and value them. Through primary and secondary research, we explored current perceptions and existing brand equity, as well as analyzed the organization’s future growth and alignment with existing brand strategy. We worked with a trusted design partner to develop a brand evolution concept that captured the personality and purpose that sets Rails-to-Trails apart, positioning their unique role in creating transportation networks nationwide and in turn helping trails be accessible, equitable, valued and well-used. We gathered feedback on two brand concepts through a public survey and opinion poll, as well as stakeholder focus groups to gauge feedback on the new brand platform, messages, and look and feel. The brand is set to launch in 2024.