Branding Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid
Most nonprofits understand the necessity of having a strong brand. It’s knowing how to create a strong brand that’s the hard part. Quite a few sessions at the Bridge Conference in Washington, D.C. last week focused on the topic of branding and proved that a little guidance can go a long way.
In her session, “Brand and Loyalty Marketing: A Creative Approach,” Catherine M. Shaw, president of branding agency Mediastudio, reviewed the following three branding best practices that organizations can put to use to create a more effective branding strategy.
Best practice No. 1: Employ multi-faceted brand strategies. Shaw said many groups use a three-pronged approach that includes:
* 1. Research, in which they focus on segments of donors and how they behave.
* 2. Tell and sell, in which they craft messages for segments; and
* 3. Deliver excellence, where they focus on a few key brand dimensions and then over-deliver.
Best practice No. 2: Interim positioning. Organizations can use an interim brand position when moving to a new brand. Shaw recommended considering the limits of the current brand when developing a strategy to use an interim brand position.
Best practice No. 3: Stepping aside from the competition by redefining the playing field. Branding tactics help break cycles of donor habits, and subtle brand elements can help an organization net three to four times the revenue of its nearest competitors.
Shaw says mission-based organizations should use corporate branding methods that focus brand resources on opinion leaders, harness consistent messaging and branding tactics to boost donor relationships, and leverage brand power to establish partnerships with commercial entities.
Associations find success segmenting recruitment audiences with diversified messaging under one brand umbrella, renaming and re-branding to build a better connection with core audiences, and keeping identity and messaging consistent.
Shaw also identified the following six common branding mistakes that snare nonprofits: