There are many ways to make your brand and message sing, however here are ten principals of not-for-profit branding that may help get your organisation on the right path.
Your brand is a collection of perceptions about your organisation, formed by every communication, action and interaction (inside and out). It’s what people see and feel, when they interact with your organisation. It’s a collective set of expectations and beliefs, about what you do and how well you do it.
Reflect on your purpose. What is it that lights that flame in the heart of your organisation. Why do you exist?
Consider what makes you unique. What is it that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Get to know your organisation’s personality. Are you young, fun and exciting?
Identify your audiences. Chances are you have more than one. Consider what value you provide to each of those audience segments and how to speak and connect with them.
Refine your ‘message’. Develop a tagline, a purpose statement. Develop your own tone-of-voice … is it, corporate, professional, or welcoming and empathetic?
Review your ‘visual identity’. Does it support your purpose? Is it unique and identifiable? Does it reflect your personality? Will it resonate with your audience? Does it support your message?
Develop the brand assets, communications tools and templates required for communicating with your audiences.
Develop a brand style guide to maintain consistency in design style, messaging, writing style and tone-of-voice across all of your communication materials, from your website and brochures through to reports and stationery.
Bring your staff on the journey. Engage with them. Allow them to feel part of your brand. Tell your brand story as part of inductions and take new employees on that journey. Encourage them to live your brand and your purpose through every aspect of their work. Share stories. Inspire your team, to take pride in the organisation and its reputation.
Embed processes into the operational side of your organization. Align your activities and strategies, to enable a shared understanding of the organisation’s true purpose and the reason for existence.
Keep your brand in focus, always. Demonstrate the importance of commitment to the organisation’s brand and the need to demonstrate it in everyday actions and interactions.
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