Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 13



Brand Strategy Development Framework

Why Bother withBranding in theNonprofit Sector? The advent of the World Wide Web in the 1990s gave rise to a newway of communicating, authenticating, and building brands. In fact, most people go to the web prior to starting a relationship with a new organization, for profit or nonprofit. They want to know about your value position, and interface with and experience your brand before they invest their time and money. The world of communication has shifted significantly in the last three decades. The way we build relationships with users of our services, volunteers, donors, employees, and other stakeholders has changed forever. The web affords the nonprofit the opportunity to add uniqueness to the delivery of your brand services and create new experiences. The web is your opportunity to build social capital, the networks and connections that lead to information exchange and innovation. It allows you to connect to your constituents and communities, and build your tribe and the value of your organization. Social capital is becoming essential to growth and expansion. Your brand presence and positioning drives the building of your social media and connectivity to all stakeholders, present and future.

Brand building is the new wave of opportunity to release the energy of your organization with a carefully crafted message that permeates the entire organization and the communities you serve. Branding is probably one of the nonprofit’s most important and often ignored tasks. Most seem to focus on provision of service as spelled out in their mission. Few ever strive for the long-term benefits of strategy to make the brand widely shared and understood. Good branding strategy leads to the following: • Defines the nucleus that drives the spirit, personality, and emotion of the organization, attracting target segments you serve, volunteers, donors, board, and staff. • Creates sustainability as everyone in the organization rides for the brand and its evolution. • Causes collaboration to come naturally and permeate the organization. • Develops innovation across departmental/ functional lines, which does not have to be driven by leadership – discretionary effort becomes the norm. • Induces long-term recognition for the organization’s superior services and the impact on the communities and people it serves.

32 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

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