Denver, Colorado – The concept of branding originated in the American cattle boom of American history. The term refers to the marking of cattle to delineate on herd from another. In today’s lexicon, branding refers to the name, term, symbol or distinct feature to distinguish one company or product from another. It has become common for branding to be mainly identified with the for profit sector. However, non-profits as well may benefit from the concepts and principles of corporate branding.
A brand is more than a logo, tagline, symbol, or name. A brand is the combination of all of these marketing aspects and how they come together to resonate and create a response in the public’s mind and heart. Truly, a brand is greater than the sum of its parts. In the non-profit sector, corporate branding may be seen as a marketing or public relations tool only used by national non-profits or something only used by for profit enterprises. However, non-profits, just like for profits, of any size may benefit from a well thought out, develop and managed brand.
As in the traditional marketplace, there is a competition for donations, volunteers, awareness, and grants in the world of non-profits. This is true even for those with differing causes. A well-crafted and recognized brand may help a cause with its cause when it comes to garnering funds and awareness. It is not uncommon for local charities to begin and end branding efforts with a logo on a tee shirt or other commodity that easily and inexpensively made and distributed. However, that does not always create awareness or relevance with the public. For a brand to truly be in place, the general public must know what the brand represents and have an emotional connection.
How the awareness, relevance and emotional connection is created is where for profit and non-profit corporate branding initiatives may diverge. Charities often find that they want to speak to both potential donors and volunteers with the same message and even at times add grantors and major gift donors to this audience as well. One way to do this is to show not only who they are, but also whom they impact and the longevity of their works and service in the community. That is quite a bit to deliver via a tagline, logo or name.
Of course the communicating of the brand comes via different messaging platforms, but the creation of the brand often comes from thorough research and development with the necessary elements of creativity and engagement. This may seem like a daunting task, but with the help of a full service creative and branding issue, the tasks becomes surmountable and more. A well-crafted brand may mean not only an emotional connection with the public, but perhaps an increase in donors and volunteers. Clearly defining and acknowledging the personality of the organization along with its cause and goals, helps to give a personal touch needed to resonate with the public.
Something so seemingly small is actually quite large as the various layers unwrap and the power of a brand is realized. Corporate branding is not only for corporations or large charities, but also for any non-profit that wants to grow, to develop its roots, or is just starting out. The brand becomes the everyday face and voice of the non-profit, its cause and possibly even its future donors and volunteers. Working with a branding partner can help a charity not only to find its voice, but also to help find the voice for those it serves.
If you would like help with branding or if you’re a non-profit looking to grow awareness and donations, please contact us today, and let’s talk .