What Does Developing a Strong Brand Look Like?
At Fervor, we understand how to maximize the marketing budgets of nonprofits. We also understand the value of developing a strong brand and aligning a strategy with it to do the most good possible. In the last 12 years, our team has helped over 80 organizations and businesses articulate their purpose through our signature strategic offering, Brand Impact Assessment. Let’s dive in to see how nonprofits and businesses can benefit from understanding what makes up a brand and a marketing strategy to support it.
So What is a Brand?
Simply put, it’s an entire organization and everything it has to offer. It is the totality of how people perceive a nonprofit or business in the marketplace when they see it, experience it, or engage with it. It’s how people feel when they hear about you, see your work, donate to your cause, or receive the benefits of your work. It’s the tangibles and intangibles, and everything in between.
Today, new brands come on the scene every day, and in order to be more visible, it’s critical to be intentional. Without a conscious intent, brands can easily make assumptions about those they serve, their supporters, volunteers and even their staff. Creating a strategy to promote their vision and mission, then, becomes near impossible, and misalignment in communications quickly follows. That’s why our Fervor team specializes in helping organizations articulate who they are, what they do and who they want to reach. We believe clarity in these three areas is essential to the growth of every nonprofit and business, enabling the most good possible.
Benefits of Brand Development and Management
Brands, whether they realize it or not, evoke emotional responses from those who cross their paths. Bottom line: Brands have power. They have the power to shape thoughts that influence beliefs and actions, changing individuals and making the world a better place. Especially in today’s society, it’s pertinent for faith-based nonprofits to broaden their approach in the way they manage and grow their brands. Ask yourself, “Have I unpacked my brand to a degree that I’m confident we’re obtaining the most reach possible?” If there’s any part of you that wonders if you’re doing the most good, it’s worth taking a deeper look.
Here’s what that could look like:
Step 1 — Define Your Brand Culture.
What is Organizational Culture? Tactically speaking, it’s a compilation of your vision and mission statements, core values, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits. Mike Farag, Fervor’s CEO, puts it best: “It’s the things you say and do. And also, what you don’t say and don’t do.” Caring about every detail of your organization is what managing your culture is all about.
A Roadmap to Guide Culture
Properly defined and documented, your brand culture will not only give substance to what you’re passionate about and who God has made you to be as an organization, but serve as a roadmap for what He’s called you to do. Every nonprofit leader knows accomplishing their vision alone is impossible. Only by cultivating relationships in which to further communicate the significance of their mission will they reach their goal. This requires a clearly defined culture.
Step 2 — Refine Your Brand Identity
Consumers and donors research and compare their options for every buying and giving decision. It just might be your brand identity — the combination of your logo mark, colors, and typefaces, or a slogan or tagline — that captures their attention first. Having a well thought out and expertly crafted logo and colors that exemplify your nonprofit’s values help make your cause memorable. While your logo and tagline serve as the “cherry on top,” your brand culture keeps people coming back to engage with you again and again.
A Brand Guide to Strengthen Communications
Brand guidelines help strengthen communications by making sure your brand identity is used consistently, both internally and externally. Have you recently reassessed your mission and core values? Consider a rebrand of your visual identity. Our creative studio team can refresh your brand identity to align with a refined organizational culture. We’ll provide you with a brand style guide, enabling your team to design on-brand content using specific design standards.
Step 3 — Clarify Your Brand Strategy
Faith-based nonprofits are solving problems all over the world. It takes a strategy —narrowing your focus with the right message and engaging the right audience — to get there and make a more significant impact along the way. It begins with research and analyzing the current impact you’re making. Without an articulated strategy, there’s a good chance you’re not growing.
Messaging for Your Target Audience
An essential piece to start your strategy the right way is knowing your ideal advocates. Knowing them requires taking the effort to understand them — their pain points, their needs, their hopes and desires, fears, frustrations, and of course a few demographics. The most successful companies find a specific target market and go after it. Everything they do is designed specifically for them. They find who they’re made for and serve them everything. Ultimately, aligning your organization to serve your ideal advocates and communicating clearly to them, creates more value for your brand.
Think about Your Purpose
In order to grow the Fervor brand, we had to spend time thinking about our calling and our purpose. If we don’t identify it and write it down, how can we achieve it? How have you considered your organization’s purpose and the impact it’s making? Is your brand strategy clear to your entire organization? Is your message clear to your employees and target audience? Are you confident you’re making the most impact possible?
If you’re not seeing the response to your brand that you expect, or simply struggling to communicate your mission to staff, donors and partners, or clients and customers, reach out to us. Let’s talk about how a Brand Impact Assessment could help your organization leverage its best qualities and biggest passions to have greater impact, doing the most good possible.