It's time to get our Nonprofit Branding Month off the ground! And we start with a question.
Are you remarkable?
It isn't an original question. One of my favorite marketing experts, Seth Godin asks it all the time. But it is a crucial question when it comes to branding.
All too often, a client comes to me and asks me to help them design a branding strategy for their company. Then I observe their product in action. I go to see their play, or watch them service the homeless.
And I become very sad.
Because there is nothing unique about what they are doing. It's not very good. It's not very bad. It is just sort of there.
Branding is a form of communication. Your brand represents your message about your company to the public.
If there is nothing unique about your nonprofit product, then your brand message is not compelling enough to attract supporters (donors, Board members, etc.)
Many nonprofits (and most for profits for that matter) invest huge sums of money into branding and what they are saying essentially is . . .
"We are just like out competitors, but smaller."
"We are just like our competitors, but younger."
If that is your brand message then you can have the greatest logo, the coolest website, the most awesome marketing strategy in the world and it won't make a bit of difference.
Tom Peters said it best "If you are not distinct, then you will become extinct."
During my upcoming branding workshop, we will be doing a number of interactive exercises. I'll give one of them away now for free.
Take a sheet of paper and list three things that make your nonprofit distinct.
This exercise can be harder then it looks. I know because I did it for myself. I'll share my personal results with you in the next post. For now, give it a try. Email your results to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss some of them in future blog posts.