Napa Valley Transportation Authority



Budget: $40,000 initial contract, $100,000 for ongoing work.

Schedule: Began the project in March of 2015, rebranding was approved by the board in October of 2015 and the initial contract was completed in December of 2015.

Summary: Green Ideas and InkëDesign partnered to support the Napa Valley Transportation Authority (previously the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency) with branding and marketing research development services.  Ultimately, Napa County was facing major traffic congestion and needed to get more people on the bus.

Press: Napa Valley Register, “NCTPA Looks to Boost It’s Identity With Voters”

To approve the strategic rebranding for Napa Valley Transportation Authority, the twelve agency board members consisting of Napa County municipal mayors and council members unanimously voted to approve the agency rebranding in 15 minutes.

“After all the years in government, I have never seen a political body make a unanimous decision in such a short amount of time.”  – Jill Techel, Mayor of Napa

Our rebranding effort was so successful not by magic, but due to a six-month stakeholder engagement process, informed by two design methodologies we regularly employ: Community Based Social Marketing (CBSM) developed by Dr. McKenzie-Mohr and Human Centered Design (HCD) developed by IDEO.

Social behavior change is both an art and a science. Integrating the latest in social psychology research with effective design strategies, we have developed a well-proven methodology of community-based social marketing that causes new social behaviors, community norms and ultimately massive cultural shifts.


  • HEAR: Social Listening (Market Research) Social Listening is an in-depth market research process that goes beyond survey data by using various interview, shadowing and research techniques to understand the hidden barriers, motivations and worldviews of the constituency groups. In addition to using survey data for broad understanding, Social Listening develops a deep understanding and empathy for the user.  Deliverables from this step included: Comprehensive Market Research Paper that includes data on internal and external audience perceptions, hidden motivations, suggestions for changing perceptions through a new identity and branding effort.

What was unique about our approach is that we gathered qualitative data as well as quantitative data. We reached out through community organizations to get as much diverse demographic data as possible.  The community engagement process is really different than a simple survey, because we interview people and listen for things we might not have thought of.  This approach, the human-centered design approach, is important for a successful rebranding and positioning of the agency. In many cases, designs fail because user relationships weren’t developed.

  • CREATE: Design Collaboration & Brand Development  Our collaborative design process worked to incorporate early and ongoing input from internal and external stakeholders. To ensure that the resulting strategy fit the purpose, we enrolled and aligned partners in the early design-phase by engaging them in facilitated design sessions and early feedback. Deliverables from this step included: 1) Facilitated a multi-hour HCD process NCTPA board of directors retreat in coordination with NCTPA staff focusing on soliciting rebranding priorities and concepts to further integrate transit/transportation solutions with Napa’s community, and 2) Brand Standards Manual – incorporating new graphics, messaging, and other brand collateral. This included visual brand (logo, graphics, etc.) and written brand (messaging, tagline, etc.).
  • DELIVER: Marketing Plan and Implementation  Community-based social marketing has been the most effective way to bring about social behavior change. Once the barriers and benefits were understood, and after working collaboratively to develop the brand and core messaging, the next phase was to implement a community-based social marketing plan. Utilizing the framework of Dr. McKenzie-Mohr as well as an integrated media strategy, Green Ideas developed a comprehensive marketing plan with concrete goals, budgets, and timelines. This included a media strategy based on the analysis results of the market research.  Deliverables from this step included: 1) NCTPA Marketing Plan – with timelines, budgets, and media selection strategy, and 2) Green Ideas Campaign Effectiveness and Media ROI Tool.

The NCPTA bus before rebranding.

NVTA bus with new logo and name.






New bus stop for NVTA.







New uniforms worn by the NVTA staff.

New logo designed in collaboration with InkëDesign.