Three branding experts agree

What do you get when you mix the expertise of Brandraising author, Sarah Durham, and Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding co-authors, Jocelyne Daw and Carol Cone? You have a wonderful blend of advice that’s caffeinated with a triple shot of branding smarts.

When two books we’ve featured at CausePlanet converge on the same topic, I can’t help but highlight where thought leaders intersect. It’s like having two consultants in the room agree on how to give your communications a jumpstart (or espresso shot). What a luxury! Here are only a few of the many author intersections I discovered:

Developing a strong brand requires everyone playing caretaker

BRANDRAISING: “Brandraising, like barn raising, involves everyone in your nonprofit’s community—board members and staff leaders, volunteers, program staff, and perhaps donors and funders. Everyone plays a role in the development of effective communications,” says Durham.

BREAKTHROUGH BRANDING: Breakthrough nonprofit brands (BNBs) represent a shift from organizational silos to integration: Traditional organizations ask their marketing teams or individuals to perpetuate the brand. Because a BNB views itself as synonymous with the organization itself, care for the brand belongs to everyone.

Exceptional brands convey your mission, vision, and values as well as your identity or personality

BRANDRAISING: Durham explains that her model starts with the organizational level and makes up the top seven elements of the brandraising pyramid, because they direct all aspects of the organization’s work. These elements are the vision, mission, values, objectives, audiences, positioning and personality. Your organization’s personality is a reflection of both what your organization is and how you want your organization to be perceived.

BREAKTHROUGH BRANDING: Discover the authentic meaning of your brand. Vision, mission and values should rarely change, but operating principles and practices must constantly evolve, says Daw. A brand is the bridge between a nonprofit’s unwavering mission and its evolving strategies. It’s the embodiment of the focused, compelling idea at the heart of the organization’s identity. Articulating what a brand stands for enables it to connect with constituents’ core values.

View branding as a strategic investment that impacts all aspects of the organization

BRANDRAISING: Just like businesses analyze the return on their investment in marketing, nonprofits can begin to measure how the mission is advanced by brandraising. Durham further emphasizes the importance of strategically branding with the long view and how this position can empower nonprofit leaders to act with planning and agility versus react with costly short view decisions.

BREAKTHROUGH BRANDING: BNBs represent a shift from viewing branding as a cost to a strategic investment: BNBs of all sizes know that branding is one of the most cost-effective, sustainable ways to strengthen and sustain any organization. Smart branding is about strategy, not costly ad campaigns.

If you want to read about more convergences from the Page to Practice™ book summary of Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications, by Sarah Durham, and Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding: Seven Principles to Power Extraordinary Results by Jocelyne Daw and Carol Cone, subscribe to the summary library, visit the summary store or visit to order these terrific books.

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