Posts Tagged ‘Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding’

Corporations have much to gain from modeling great nonprofit brands

Spotting an exceptional brand is easy, but building one is one of the most important challenges every organization faces. So how do you build a brand that breaks through? And is there a difference from one sector or industry to the next?

That was the challenge that I was presented when approached to write a chapter for the internationally published book “The Brand Challenge”. It features some of the world’s leading brand experts from every type of business, industry and organization possible – from fashion to football; from hotels to city; from B2B to mass B2C brands AND more.

I was proud to write the chapter on branding in the non-profit sector. In contributing to the book I had a chance to compare with my fellow authors how brand building is similar and different in various categories.

My biggest takeaway – the power of great non-profits to create loyalty, drive passion, engage people and give a sense of higher purpose. There is no question that breakthrough non-profit brands offer some distinct advantages. What can other industries learn from great non-profit brands? Here are my key lessons:

1. Great non-profits serve humanity as the cornerstone of their brands
The best brands serve a societal need and stand for making more than just profits! Great non-profits have an aspirational societal goal at the heart of their brand. In serving a bigger purpose it positions the non-profit brand as a hero pursuing solutions that positively advance society and as a convener inviting others to join the movement.

2. Great non-profit brands create owners not users
The best brands are ones that create a sense of ownership. Inclusive, not exclusive, great non-profit brands create owner-based relationships with constituents; supporters feel pride of ownership and view the organization as an extension of themselves and a means to achieve goals they value. The most successful non-profit distribute power to shape the brand through tools, resources, and training that encourage creative engagement.

3. Non-profit brands are naturally VALUES driven, that is the ESSENCE of great brands
Great brands are values-driven, but many companies have not defined their values. For non-profits, knowing their higher-level values is easy because they are embedded directly into their own creation.

Values driven brands are ones where values are translated into tangible measurements of behaviour and results, where people are held accountable for living those values and achieving measurable goals. Regularly communicating social impact, non-profits bring their core values to life.

4. Great non-profit brands create a sense of community and build movements of like-minded people
The best brands are almost cult-like, creating movements of believers. Great non-profit brands create a sense of community, both inside and outside the organization. They are built on a simple, but central rule of our nature – people like to be around other people who share the same beliefs and care about similar issues and beliefs. Great non-profit brands unite groups of would-be strangers in a feeling of kinship through shared hopes and commitments.

5. Great non-profit brands have “Practical, Emotional and Engagement” benefits
Non-profit brand puts its constituents at the heart of its brand. It makes the brand personally and emotionally relevant and creates a sense of community around unifying values, commitments, and concerns. It offers a triple value proposition:

Convinces the head: Effective non-profits rationally articulate a unique and differentiated idea that explains what their organization does better than others. Then, they go further and demonstrate how this core concept is relevant to their supporters.

Touches the heart: Non-profit brands make an emotional connection by serving a higher purpose and focusing on driving outcomes. Emotional impact is in direct proportion to the social impact of the organization’s purpose.

Engages the hands: Breakthrough non-profit brands are built to engage as many constituents as possible in strategic activities that make the best use of the organizations and supporter communities’ collective energies.

6. Today, brand value is based on making a meaningful contribution society! Nonprofits have that in spades!
Non-profit brands are all about making a meaningful and impactful contribution to society and those they serve. A look at the Meaningful Brands Index, a new metric of global brand strength, shows that brands that positively affect humanity outperform the stock market by 120%.

If your brand story does not authentically and meaningfully contribute to the well-being of society or the environment, your brand will not be viewed as important. In fact, the Meaningful Brand Index report found that 73% of all brands could disappear and consumers wouldn’t care.

7. Business-community partnerships build and strengthen corporate brands

It doesn’t matter what a brand says, it what it does that counts. Building business-community partnerships with the right non-profits that align with a company’s value and help bring the brand to life are the ones that win. So whether it’s CSR, sustainability, community giving, employee volunteering, cause marketing or foundation alignment, the more good works your values support, the more favourable the brand.

Read more about my book the “Breakthrough Non-profit Branding”.

Or learn more and purchase the “The Brand Challenge.”

Special thanks to Jocelyne Daw for allowing us to cross-post this article, which originally appeared at www.jsdaw.com.

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Let impact do the talking in your cause marketing campaign (Audio)

We recently had a live author interview with Jocelyne Daw about her book, Cause Marketing for Nonprofits: Partner for Purpose, Passion and Profits. One of her answers stuck with me and I wanted to share it with you.

Nonprofits and their corporate partners tout the portion of each purchase that goes directly to the cause they support when consumers actually want to know what impact the purchase makes. Daw discussed a cause marketing campaign example where Pampers helped UNICEF eliminate a deadly disease.

Pampers tested their messaging prior to launching their campaign. One message emphasized for every pack of Pampers purchased, five cents would go to UNICEF. The other message claimed for every pack of Pampers purchased, a newborn would receive a vaccination against neonatal tetanus.

Which message do you think resonated more with consumers? Ask yourself what will additional resources actually enable you to do? How can you literally connect the consumer’s purchase with the outcome?

The Pampers/UNICEF campaign started in 2008 and is expected to eliminate a disease that’s been killing newborns or the mothers by 2015. An HBR blog about the campaign highlights four key factors that contributed to the campaign’s success. Among the four factors was “The aligned content between the two brands makes a distinctive competitive message that connects cause, consumer, and choice.”

Look into Daw’s Cause Marketing for Nonprofits and her more recent book, Breakthough Nonprofit Branding. You can also visit Jocelyne Daw’s new website www.jsdaw.com to learn more about her consulting services and books.

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Living the brand means rethinking the business model

Co-creation of brands

A brand is much more than a logo, tagline or key message. It is an authentic expression of a nonprofit’s promise to the world. Branding experts agree our organizations alone don’t control our brands. Brands are co-created with our stakeholders–-our audiences, volunteers, board members, funders, partners and service recipients. One’s perception of The Red Cross, for example, is informed by what it communicates directly, but also what our friends, family and social network say, as well as our own experiences. Those impressions ultimately create a collective consciousness of the brand itself. Our impressions of a brand and the authentic manifestation of that brand promise in the world influence how we engage with that nonprofit as donors and ambassadors.

Brand + business model

How can we more effectively engage stakeholders in the mission of a nonprofit? While brand engagement is critical to consider, we must think beyond the marketing function alone. It is time to fully imbed our brand promise in the way we do business day in and day out, which necessitates new thinking about business model design. At the core, we are talking about operating in new and different ways.

Value creation in your business model

A well-designed business model creates and captures value. Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Fueled by the interests of our stakeholders, we can leverage organization-driven and user-driven experiences to inform, engage and influence opinions and actions. Data-driven strategies and tools can improve marketing, fundraising and volunteer engagement. The trick is not solely beginning and ending there. It is time to intentionally design your nonprofit’s business model to add value to your key stakeholders on a regular basis, recognizing the unique and overlapping needs of each group. By keeping an eye on value creation–-from the point of view of your stakeholders–you will capture more value within your nonprofit in the form of financial support and active ambassadorship for your cause.

So, where to start?

1.       Begin with clarity of brand promise.

2.       Design your business model to activate the brand promise.

3.       Use data to refine and reevaluate along the way.

4.       Keep an eye on creating and capturing value via a scorecard that tracks key metrics.

Three-component business model

The case studies profiled in Rippling by Beverly Schwartz and Forces for Good by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant evoke a three-component business model, one that is designed to maximize 1) programs and services, 2) financial resources and 3) community engagement. It’s no longer sufficient to merely consider what you offer and how you fund operations. As the growing recognition of the importance of nonprofit brand suggests, a well-designed business model creates and captures value through imbedded approaches aligned with brand.

See also:

Rippling

Forces for Good

Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results

 

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Building a social purpose brand: the new nonprofit imperative

If the 2000′s was the decade of “why,” 2012 and beyond will be about social purpose and creating a clear value proposition for your nonprofit organization. How do you create this and engage your stakeholders in your social purpose and the value you create for society? It starts with discovering and expressing your organization’s higher purpose and focusing on outcomes, not activities!

Organizations that stand for a clear and inspiring social purpose and bring commitments to life through outcome-driven action will deepen relationships, foster loyalty, build sustainable organizations and achieve positive social change.

To infuse asocial purpose into your organization, define and demonstrate a three-dimensional brand value proposition:

  • Head: Articulate your leadership position–Identify what your organization stands for—the unique, differentiated idea that sets it apart and explains what the organization does better than others.
  • Heart: Express your social purpose–Forge an emotional and personal connection with your core stakeholders. Elevate your leadership position to a higher purpose with specific outcomes—something bigger than organizational activities, something your constituents care about and believe in.
  • Hands: Rally your community–Use your social purpose to create a sense of community–inside and outside of the organization–to rally and inspire action. Unite people around shared commitments, values and interests that add meaning to their lives and help change our communities and the world for the better.

This new approach requires a profound shift in philosophy. It calls for a deep commitment to ensuring that what your organization stands for–its social purpose–is communicated and lived through every stakeholder interaction. This is a shift from:

Standing for everything to articulating a clear purpose: In an effort to satisfy multiple stakeholders, nonprofits often try to be everything to everyone. To truly break through, a nonprofit finds and expresses what it stands for–its higher social purpose. It uses that bigger purpose to tell an enduring story that helps unify its actions from year to year.

Reporting activities to demonstrating outcomes: There is an old saying that states, activities tell and benefits sell. Rather than just reporting on activities, a BNB (Breakthrough Nonprofit Brand) focuses its communications on the benefits and outcomes that deliver value. By issuing compelling, personally relevant offers, a breakthrough organization makes association with its brand a top choice over all other alternatives.

Undertaking transactions to building relationships: Traditionally, nonprofits emphasize annual numbers and dollars raised. An organization that invests in and rewards staff for building long-term relationships will break through. It takes the time to engage in a meaningful dialogue with donors. This ongoing conversation helps illuminate what the organization means to its supporters and what their involvement says about them to others. It creates a true community of believers.

Being well-known to being well-owned: Being better-known does not equate to being better-understood or valued. A breakthrough organization appreciates the importance of awareness and fundraising but spends just as much time engaging internal and external communities in the higher purpose. It believes in the power of many and meaningfully engages a critical mass of people in its cause. Inclusive, not exclusive, it creates owner-based relationships with constituents and encourages creative engagement. By empowering an army of supporters who call the organization their own, it causes people to take another look and creates waves of new recruits eager to commit to the cause.

Moving from organizational silos to integration: A high performance nonprofit uses its clear social purpose as the force behind everything the organization does, making it the central management preoccupation for the CEO, board, executive team and all staff and volunteers. It is at the heart of governance, operations and mission achievement. A concerted effort is made to break down internal silos and bring the organization together around the social purpose for operational effectiveness.

With the leadership of the CEO and senior management, a social purpose brand can become the catalyst for continual self-assessment and innovation. It is a must-do to create a unique organizational identity infused with passion and trust. Forward-looking senior leaders ensure this brand-centric philosophy is embraced by the whole organization. They leverage the brand to strengthen donor loyalty, recruit top executives, rally staff members, meaningfully engage volunteers, drive diversified funding streams and ultimately, make a greater social impact.

A powerful social purpose brand conveys the organization’s focus, credibility and unique contributions. In today’s environment, it is critical to focus on ways to stand out and win head, heart and hands. This approach maximizes trust, forges stronger relationships and secures a continuous flow of resources to fulfill critical mission objectives. Social purpose branding is the new nonprofit imperative.

See also:

Brandraising

Cause Marketing for Nonprofits

Married to the Brand

Image credit: why.nextness.com.au

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