Branding Strategies Revealed
All nonprofit organizations are marketing organizations in that they use marketing activities to get prospects to become members, supporters or donors. An organization can’t market itself well without an understanding of its brand strategy, e.g., its market position, what differentiates it, etc. This is the focus of “7 Secrets to Branding in the Nonprofit Organization,” a white paper by Michael DiFrisco, founder of BrandXcellence, a firm that provides brand-strategy workshops and solutions to nonprofit organizations.
Operating without a brand strategy in place is like trying to build your organization on shifting sand, DiFrisco writes. Organizations and businesses alike waste billions of dollars on ineffective marketing efforts. To determine if your organization is leaking marketing dollars or lacking a unified brand, DiFrisco recommends asking yourself the following questions:
1. Does your organization encourage an understanding of what DiFrisco calls your “differentiating factor,” i.e., what you do better than other organizations?
2. Do those with supporter contact within your organization have a solid understanding of your organization, its strengths, etc?
3. Do you have a mission statement and a vision; does your staff — from top to bottom — know and embrace your mission and vision?
4. Do your goals align with your strengths, mission and vision?
5. Does your organization have a tag line or slogan that communicates your mission and values; is it memorable and original?
6. Can you explain the essence of your brand in an elevator speech, i.e., in the time span of an elevator ride?
7. Do your constituents understand what it is you do, how to join, how to make a contribution, etc.?
8. Does your organization have a recognizable personality and is it conveyed through your marketing efforts and constituent touches?
9. Is your organization living its brand every day and enriching it on an ongoing basis?