Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13

Design Corner BRIAN SOOY

How to Build a Brand that People Love

We see it time and time again. When donations and awareness are low, we hear the cry: “We need a new website, logo, marketing campaign, brand identity, etc.!” I patiently listen until I can explain what the problem really is. Jumping to solutions, tactics, and touch points before you address the real issue and define the actual problem means you’re missing the root cause of the problem.The problem isn’t your website or brochure or advertising campaign. I’m sure each of your audience touch points is beautiful. But until you get your message clear by understanding who your audience is and what their needs are, until you keep talking about the problem you’re trying to solve and why it exists, you’re going to waste time and money on the wrong part of brand building. You wouldn’t build a house without the right foundation, would you? What Makes a Brand Memorable? Your brand isn’t memorable because you have a beautiful logo, website, or marketing. Your brand is meaningful (and memorable) when it stands for something that matters to the people you help become champions for your cause. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying.

Design is relevant. Design is a mission- critical business asset. Design is important to your organization because it enables you to visually tell your story and create memorable experiences. Design is the medium to share visual stories that help people see with their mind what they feel with their heart. People remember how you make them feel.They recognize the personality of your brand and how they were treated. They value your brand because it matters to their story. It’s the experience that matters more than the performance. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou The Most Human Brands Win With all the effort spent on brand management techniques and brand strategy, organizations often overlook the relational aspects of branding. Why are some brands embraced by legions of raving fans and champions? How does it make you feel when you compare your organization to theirs? • First, don’t compare unless the other brand or organization is a direct competitor.

• If you must compare, do it to learn. Figure out how they are making their champions and supporters the hero and how they make them feel. • Build your foundation from the ground up: Clarify your brand truth and mission, create a clear message and story that connects with customers, and then build a marketing plan to share your voice, message, and impact with the right people. According to a recent report from Forrester, “Studies show consumers value human-like communication from brands.” According to the report, 60% of brand experiences result in human-like connections. That’s important, considering that 57% of consumers say that human communication would increase their brand loyalty, and 58% say human communication would increase their likelihood of spending money with a given brand. Great brands don’t begin with a logo. Great brands are built from the inside out and

begin with a story. Everybody Brands

From the C-suite to the front desk, everybody is responsible for the brand and its reputation.

28 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

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