A brand catches up with a global organization
Enactus, formerly known as SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise),
is a global nonprofit organization that works with leaders in
business and higher education to help mobilize university students
to make a difference in the world while they develop the skills to
become socially responsible business leaders.
Despite its strong strategic foundation and an aligned mission
and tagline, Enactus had trouble articulating its brand story in
the most effective way possible—primarily because of its multiple
key audiences and its complex organizational layers. Additionally,
the organization had reached a tipping point in its growth:
Participation was high and the organization had successfully
expanded into new countries and was attracting new donors. Becoming
a truly global network (1,600 participating universities in 39
countries) meant it needed to better define its brand in order to
fulfill its mission, continue growing, and achieve its desired
Enactus came to Landor for help in crafting a brand positioning
and a name that would house all the emotions and ideas for which
the brand stands.
What Landor did for Enactus: Brand positioning
To address the organization’s challenges and aspirations, Landor
developed a concise, ownable, and differentiating brand positioning
using the organization’s already well-defined purpose as the
Looking at the landscapes of both nonprofit organizations and
corporate social responsibility programs, it was apparent that the
emphasis among many of them was most often about helping others and
making an impact in the world. While this is at the heart of
Enactus, Landor determined that it was not enough of a
differentiator in the marketplace.
Instead, Enactus’ impact on the world is a result of the
tangible involvement of its participants—a system that enables
students to apply their entrepreneurial mindset to meaningful
actions that result in positive outcomes throughout the world.
Using this key insight, Landor developed the concept of
“Entrepreneurial Action” as Enactus’ key focus for differentiation.
For students, academics, and business leaders alike, this concept
is about creativity, problem solving, and bringing ideas to life in
a purposeful way. Entrepreneurial Action taps into the emotional,
passionate energy that drives Enactus members while reminding us of
the organization’s fundamental belief in using business principles
to make a positive difference.
“Enabling progress through entrepreneurial action” became
Enactus’ core brand idea, and guides all touchpoints of the
new brand to drive it forward.
What Landor did for Enactus: Naming
The organization was founded as “Students in Free Enterprise,”
but the long descriptive name soon became an acronym—SIFE—for ease
of use. However, rapid global expansion of the organization, and
the cultural and pronunciation issues that accompanied it, meant
the organization’s name became more and more outdated.
Additionally, the organization recognized an opportunity to create
a new verbal identity, one that could transcend physical,
linguistic, and cultural boundaries and act as a vessel for its
The new name, Enactus, was initially inspired by the idea of
compounding “Entrepreneurial Action,” but it was created to
transcend those roots and encompass the strong emotion that the
brand evokes. The name encapsulates the intricate balance between
youthful energy and a sophisticated stature that defines the
organization. Enactus works as a call to action—it is an invitation
to students to put their skills and education into action, and it
is an inspiration for the socially responsible leaders of today to
help cultivate the socially responsible leaders of tomorrow.