11 Things to Know About: Branding
There are five essential elements of a strong brand (organization image) that will help you better define your project or organization. Learn why a strong brand is important and how to put into action various branding and marketing strategies. This session will provide you with tips for creating a lasting brand and make you stand out among the rest.
Five Elements of a Strong Brand
- Be simple. You want to make it easy for your audience to remember you. Get to the point in your name, message and purpose.
- Be unique. What is your ‘only’ element? Are you the only organization to help this cause? Or the only organization to build those in that neighborhood? What ever it may be, find what makes you stick out and special.
- Be relevant. Keep in mind the lifestyle and preference of your audience, or audiences. It may in fact be that you have two markets: one of those you support, and one of those who support you. Keep both of them in mind in your communications and your brand: you don’t want to seem like you’re trying to sell ice to an Eskimo.
- Be truthful. This can go a long way in building credibility and creating momentum for your cause. Let people know that you are getting things done, but be honest. Relay tangible benefits of your work and make sure you can prove it.
- Be consistent. Create a style guide for your brand to make sure that everything created on its behalf doesn’t stray from the message or personality you establish. It’s important to be strong in your image and consistent with your mission and messaging.
Six Ways to Make it Happen
- Draw up a brand hierarchy. Outline your main goals and objectives: this is what we want to accomplish, this is how we want to do it, this is who we’re targeting, and this is the media we’re going to use. Next, draw out a map that shows the relationship you have with partners, donors you already have, and partners you want to have based on what is important to your brand.
- Figure out your brand personality. If your brand was a person, what would its personality be? What is the tone of that personality’s interaction with the audience? Think about images and language, it should all reflect who you are and who you want to be. If your core team isn’t 100% united on how you look and what you’re saying, your brand identity is going to suffer.
- Make yourself credible. Partnering with trusted organizations will put you in a favorable light. If you’ve received funding from Bill Gates, make use of that. But see where it fits in your brand messaging, because you don’t want your funders to overshadow what you do. Build trust by following through and show people that you mean what you say and you will see your goals become reality.
- Protect yourself. You want your audience to know the difference between you and other similar organizations. Create a logo and tagline that are unique to you, then look into basic trademark registration, make sure no one tries to make it their own.
- Find your target audience. Remember: no one’s audience is everyone. Really think about who you want to reach. Tailor your communications to them and market through channels relevant to them.
- Keep up with changing times. You need to be sure that your message still resonates with your audience because they will grow and change, and their preferences and expectations will change as well. The worst thing you can do is stop responding to the outside world.