Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13

delivering your brand mission. If you are not able to state the problem you solve, how you solve it, and what the solution is, clearly and concisely, then you’re losing your audience at the first touch. So much of your work is ensuring that your organization understands how to clearly sell itself without losing your audience, ensuring that, beyond the inspiring mission and aspirational vision, your core values have been set in stone and the brand voice and tone are reaching the right people. When you know what problem you’re solving for whom, only then can you put your sales and marketing into practice. Done right, your messaging will translate easily into sales and marketing copy for all your organization’s materials.This will give you content for your website, brochures, donation packets, media kits, etc., and will be easy for daily use. Done wrong, you’ll find consistent frustra- tion. 3. Keep Your Brand and Marketing Simple and Organized Since there are thousands of touchpoints where the end-user can interact with your nonprofit organization, it’s important to keep tabs on the messaging and marketing you’re putting out. Keeping up with your brand messaging can be daunting if you don’t go through a brand exercise with the right agency or consultant to help write your brand guidelines and framework. But once you do, it’s simple to refer back to it over and over again. This is a life saver as it ensures that you’re not pulling your hair out trying to stay up with everything, and reinventing the wheel again and again.

This includes your website, which is now a combination of your storefront, fundraising team, suggestion box, newspaper, and review forum. Keep it clean and focused on only the most important information. It’s also imperative to ensure that the web experience you give off is consistent across all of your social media sites. A trick we use for every client we consult is creating a cloud-based custom brand framework. This not only houses all their brand messaging and usage guides, but also their marketing strategy, plans, templates, and assets, which ensures you aren’t looking in a thousand different places for a thousand different things. 4. Educate and Empower Your Staff The hardest part in scaling any type of organization is ensuring that the brand and culture scale accordingly. When your organization begins to grow, the brand often begins to fray as individuals insert their own narrative and, like a rogue sales team in a B2B setting, it becomes a free- for-all where the brand standards and framework are used less and less, favored for a more reactive, yet limiting, approach. This can be reversed only if it is caught early enough. But it can also be a non- issue. With educating your staff and staying extremely proactive, you can foster a culture of brand champions, as opposed to a culture of brand ego. As a fun exercise, empower your team by keeping your core messaging printed out and quiz people regularly. If they pass and nail it, reward them.You’ll be amazed at the quick progress and how those statements will be woven into the everyday brand narrative.

5. Check In Regularly Like fashion, your brand is never finished. It’s a repeatable cycle that must be nurtured and, at times, be put back on its track. With our clients, we have quarterly or, at the very least, semi-annual brand check- ins where we perform an audit on all your brand touchpoints to ensure we’re still as optimized as possible. By doing so, we’re able to course-correct based on data and changing perceptions while, at the same time, keeping abreast of changing marketing trends. This also becomes a great opportunity to rally the extended team and focus on culture and team building, because the brand becomes successful when everyone internally has a pulse on the strategy and believes in the core values and purpose. When you decide to work on setting a framework for your brand, it can seem like a daunting endeavor, usually right from the very first question of where to start. As with anything, take it one step at a time and find great mentors. Once you have your brand dialed in, you can start on the fun part: marketing and growing your organization. Steven Picanza is an award-winning global brand strategist and educator, running a brand + marketing consultancy with his wife, with a core purpose centered on helping businesses and organizations make smarter branding and marketing decisions. In addition to his Executive Board seat with the San Diego Entertainment & Arts Guild, a nonprofit organization he helped found in 2009, Steven is an adjunct instructor at Drexel University in Philadelphia and a yearly guest instructor at The European Institute of Design in Milan, Italy. See how he can help you at .

SynerVision Leadership .org I 13

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