Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13

Academic Desk


Branding It’s More Than a Logo

So you’ve got a logo. Now what? Your organization needs a living, breathing brand. Branding encompasses everything that people should know about your organization. It includes your elevator pitches, your job titles and workplace jargon, your values and, yes, your logo, too. A well-branded organization is intentional with every detail, down to the colors used in their logo and space. Your organization’s brand is your organization’s essence. More than a Feeling Before you begin building the brand, it’s important to know your organization’s values, as well as the larger cultural conversations regarding organizations like yours. Ultimately, your brand is the dance between your organization’s internal intentions and external perception. Branding is more than a feeling, if you will. When it comes to social media, there are a million ways to communicate your brand. The colors you use in photos and graphics can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Blues and cool colors can soothe your audience and inspire loyalty, while red and warm tones can motivate your audience to action and instill confidence. Read up on color psychology and choose your color scheme wisely.

Intentionality & Integrity Beyond visual cues, the words you use to describe your work can communicate nuances without much explanation. For example, a church can be described as traditional or inclusive; the nuance between the two communicates extensive ideas about its theology and culture. It’s important to choose your keywords with much diligence. Your brand is meant to guide how the public talks about your organization. And the greatest threat to brand loyalty? A lack of integrity. Let’s say a big part of your brand is embracing diversity. Without 100% buy-in from 100% of your stakeholders, it won’t be long before your brand has a hole or two poked in it. Brand integrity is non- negotiable, and if you’ve used your core values and mission as a brand-building guide, then making brand integrity the number one priority is a no-brainer. Your organization’s brand is its personality, so it’s important to show who your organization really is. Is it an expert? Present your facts and flex those muscles. Is it youthful? Show that it can have fun and be relevant. Every click on your

organization’s website, glance at a billboard, or conversation with a stakeholder is the public’s first date with your organization. Choose your outfit wisely. No Days Off Sure, a logo is important, but it’s a tiny fraction of your organization’s overall brand. Choose colors, titles, and Instagram handles wisely, because a brand is not an act or charade. It is the essence and personality of your organization. It is present in both internal and external endeavors, and it matters to both stakeholders and the general public. Branding is more than a logo, but if you’ve got that much, then you’ve got something. Now, ask your board: Who are we? And, let the answers guide you. Katie Allred is the assistant professor of software development and digital media at the University of Mobile (Alabama). She also facilitates a student-run marketing agency, , which offers branding, web design, and social media marketing for churches, nonprofits, and small businesses. In her free time, Katie is a community leader in the church and teaches about marketing through .

14 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

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