If you think brands are only for Starbucks and Oreos, think again. Every single organization – including your nonprofit – has its own personality, its own identity, its own set of characteristics.
As the nonprofit landscape gets increasingly competitive, it’s more important than ever to brand yourself by clearly conveying your organization’s focus, credibility, and unique contributions. The benefits are many:
BENEFITS FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
1. Branding makes it possible for you to differentiate your organization in the minds of your audiences. This differentiation is the basis of enduring relationships with multiple publics.
2. Branding makes it possible for your organization to convey a consistent overall positioning while tailoring offerings for donors, volunteers, funders and other audiences.
3. With the rise of the Web, branding is more important than ever. Since information can be provided quickly and immediately to any location, traditional advantages of size and location lose importance. Brands – the values, skills, and differentiators of your organization – become more important than ever.
4. The marketplace has changed. Our audiences will talk about us whether we like it or not.It’s time that nonprofits join the conversation. Developing a brand is a proactive strategy. For example, a well-established brand can help your organization carve out a unique position for itself in the public mindset, preventing negative images of other organizations (e.g., United Way scandal) from spilling over to your nonprofit.
BENEFITS FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
5. Your brand serves as a simple and effective vehicle to convey the benefits provided by the programs, goods, and services your organization offers.Think Red Cross – the symbol and the tagline, “Together, we can save a life.” The Red Cross vigilantly reinforces its brand in every marketing vehicle with the inclusion of its logo and this tagline.
6. Your brand provides an assurance of quality and consistency.
HOWEVER, for a brand to provide these benefits, it must offer more than a recognizable name and image. There must be a corresponding organizational commitment to deliver products (goods, services, or programs) that are consistent with the brand’s positioning.