Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nonprofits 'Sell' Mission Moments

Growing competition in the nonprofit sector demands that nonprofits know what they are 'selling' in order to capture donations, grants, volunteers, sponsors, staff, etc. Those who seek to translate 'corporate marketing' into the nonprofit world can become too focused on trying to differentiate the experience of giving. There are certainly nuances but the baseline reasons are typically the same. Think instead about whom you are trying to influence. Then, think about the mission moments that will connect them to your organization. Create a file that captures the connection with a funder, with a sponsor, with an employee, with a volunteer. Service recipient stories and impact statements are great supporting detail as well, but remember that your stakeholders are a diverse bunch bound together by some unifying belief in your purpose. So, seek to find the ways in which you can connect their deep beliefs with your cause, reinforce it by sharing the different kinds of connections that have been made. Help them scratch their itch. Lose sight of how you deliver on your mission, it becomes blurry for others as to how they can be part of it.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Make Your Creative Work For You

If you are going to invest in creative campaigns, make them work for your organization. Connect the creative to the essence of your mission, culture and identity. Connect it in a way that bridges your stakeholders to the future and compels your audience to take a desired action. Think about how to leverage the campaign or the development process to engage stakeholders. Determine how best to take the ideas, information and outcomes back to the people from whom they were solicited in order to gain ground. Perhaps take them to new people from whom you'd like comments solicited. Even if you didn't get it quite right (from their perspective), you might gain valuable respect and a few more ambassadors for your cause.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DIY: Strategy + Brand Integration

If you aren't fortunate enough to go through an integrated process for developing the framework for your strategic planning and your branding, take the time to build the bridge yourself. Pull out the strategic plans, steep yourself in the ideology, internalize the values. Know how your organization defines success and for what it is being held accountable. Then, build the bridge to your branding process. And, if you're not certain about the strength of your organization's vision --or your brand-- use an engaging process to strengthen it.
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tie Branding to Business

Tie branding to strategic planning and strategic decision-making and your changes of success increase exponentially --not just in the efforts themselves but also for your pursuits. Take branding out of the world of all things soft and fun, and put it inside the objective world and language of business. Leverage the fact that you have access to the stakeholders and bring them into the process so you can connect to their language when talking about organizational objectives.
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

The One-with-One of Strategic Planning & Branding

It is a little known fact that effective organizations link strategic planning and brand development. The two disciplines truly do go hand-in-hand. Branding is simply the public manifestation of the internal planning intentions. In parallel worlds, you can connect the mission with the identity, the vision with the tagline, the values with the messaging framework, the strategic plan with the creative brief, and the action plan with the outreach. Another way to look at it is a one-to-one blend, a layering of strategic planning and communications, actions and impressions.
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Effective Organizations Bridge Intention & Action

When you engage people, you help them understand --from the inside-- what is is you're all about. You bring them inside the brand. Thgey ver thing that generates a common understanding of intent. An effective ideology, an effective strategic plan and an effective brand builds the bridge between intention and action. It uses everything at its disposal to be sure that people understand what's expected and that they deliver on it consistently in a way that connects with the intended audience ... be that audience internal, external or a combination thereof.
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Build a Brand Path

In our overly connected world, where now people tweet as frequently as do the birds, expanding the concept of branding beyond logo development is imperative. Seize the opportunities you have as an organization to shape the pathway of a constituent's experience. For instance, what happens the moment the customer dials the toll-free number to the music they hear when they're on hold, to the words they hear being spoken by the automated 'on hold' attendant or when they land in a voice mail box and how they're treated when they connect to a human. In this ever-faster world, you'll need to increase deposits into your brand bank account in order to avoid eradication by a withdrawal, the effects of which might spread like a virus.
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