“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”
Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon
Branding is a fundamental strategic process that involves all parts of the organisation and is as important for charities as commercial brands. It is for the most part no longer seen as a ‘dirty word’ for charities. Today, more than ever, charities must build the essence of their brand to retain and engage people behind the living ‘charity brand’.
The brand must always deliver value defined in consumer terms. It is a continuing and evolving relationship with users and must be maintained as a living organism.
As noted by Aaker, David Ogilvy said, “brands are part of the fabric of life” where Jeremy Bullmore said, “just about the only thing brands have in common is a kind of fame”. Brands are sometimes contradictory and mean different things do to different people- McDonald’s as part of everyday life, but is it famous? Porsche is famous but is it part of your life?
International brands can also lose touch if marketers do not maintain relationships and keep the brand alive and relevant to their consumers. O2, Waitrose, Bulmer and Samsung innovate in terms of the branding experience and through the customer journey, diversification and delivering green initiatives. Some brands like Tesco, Starbucks and Apple have seen their brand de-valued because of a lack of innovation, authenticity, soul and customer focus.
Here are 5 learnings from our recent shortcuts seminar ‘building your brand on and offline’ to maintain and grow your ‘charity brand’:
1. Build your charity brand foundation. Answer four simple questions about your brand:
- What is its personality (image)
It can be emotional (like Marie Curie) or challenging and impulsive (like Greenpeace)
- What are your aims
- What is its function
- What techniques do you use
- What is unique
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBHzMMzliFA to explain something scientific and complicated in a humorous and simple way that transports viewers.
2. Communicate around your brand
Communication should be consistent (and constant). Use all the relevant communication tools available to increase your brand visibility and hopefully audiences will identify with your charity brand. Innovate and try news things with ads, direct mail, PR, events, street marketing and so on.
3. Add value to your brand
Make alliances with companies and connect your cause to products. This has worked well for Whiskas and WWF Help Protect a Tiger.
Involve and give your supporters control to make them feel part of the project.
Adnams, the ethical brewery increased its communication by 80%.
It expanded its activities, created special ‘green’ beers like Fat Sprat and is involved in different communities and environmental projects.
4. How to deliver offline
Make sure your own people know what’s happening – your main ambassadors. Cultivate your partnerships; raise internal and external awareness through events and internal communication to maintain your charity brand. Street and experiential marketing are new ways of delivering (sampling, street theatre, experience and so on).
The Feed SA experiential campaign increased donations for disadvantaged people throughout South Africa. Placing decals showing hungry children begging for food in shopping carts, made it easy for shoppers to help “feed the hungry people”.
5. How to deliver online
External activity should be amplified online using videos and updates on social channels.
Buglife, the invertebrate charity, reviewed its brand identity, and we’ve helped build a more efficient website around their brand. Using personas and users journeys helped keep it relevant to their key audiences. Everything was created to make the brand stronger online and to involve the audiences. We refreshed the navigation and brand colours and all pages are device sensitive. The objectives are to increase members and to get more kids involved with activities to make the brand stronger. The new website is going live in early September.
To be continued….