USP? BOM? WTH?
Then there are all those “soft” benefits. Some complain that soft benefits are harder to sell, but any copywriter worth his or her salt can make those seem just as desirable with a turn of a phrase. Recently I read an appeal letter for a public television station. It promoted its programming as being “a window to a world of the unknown.”
“It can educate, inform and enlighten. It can take you on an amazing adventure to far off places, back in time or even into space!”
Wow! I want to go on that adventure. Sounds like a benefit to me.
Identifying your USP and crafting benefit-oriented messaging are part and parcel of your brand-management efforts.
A brand is more than a logo or a tagline. Building a brand starts from the inside, out. The cornerstone of your brand is your mission, but, ultimately, your brand is defined by the actions of your organization. Everyone in your organization needs to be able to understand and communicate the mission. In essence, everyone in your organization — not just the development or major-giving staff — is responsible for “the sale.”
Consider asking everyone in your organization to craft an “elevator speech.” How would they describe your organization and the work you do in 60 seconds or less? How do their perceptions of the organization compare to the one you “sell” in your fundraising letters? Getting everyone on the same page is brand management.
So next time you’re at a cocktail party and hear two marketers talking unique selling proposition, benefit-oriented messaging and brand management, don’t assume they work for Johnson & Johnson. They just might be two savvy development professionals. FS
Debbie Merlino is vice president, fundraising, at Plymouth, Mass.-based agency DMW Worldwide.