Is Branding a Bad Word?

  • by Shala Graham
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Branding is more popular than ever, even if the phrase has taken a bit of a beating lately.
Often associated with huge corporations (along with massive budgets and endless focus groups where participants stare at logos for hours), branding has become a difficult-to-define concept for many. Combine that with the ethically-dubious actions companies sometimes take in an effort to “defend their brand” and it’s easy to see the topic is something that’s somehow slightly evil and unclear at the same time.

Does that mean branding should be a bad word for nonprofits?

It shouldn’t — in fact, having a strong brand is essential to the growth of your organization. To see why, there are a few things you have to understand:

What branding is

For all the confusion that surrounds the idea of branding, it’s important to remember that it essentially amounts to the way people think about you, your organization, and your cause. Or, you could think of it as the sum total of your messaging, design, and public coverage. Branding is nothing more, or less, than what people feel about your nonprofit.

How branding impacts your organization

With strong branding, your organization can enjoy better awareness, more donations, and even increased volunteer support. To understand why this is, think of nonprofits with strong brands, like the Red Cross. Because the public is aware of them and thinks of them favorably, people are predisposed to want to help them. That’s the power of good branding.

What you can do to shape your branding

Building a strong brand takes time, but there are things you can do to speed the process up and reinforce the impression you want to create. By using good visuals, being consistent with your marketing, and having a strategy that everyone in your organization knows and can go along with, you lay the foundation for a brand that will endure.

Strong nonprofit brands are built over the course of hundreds of different impressions. Are you making the most of your communications and interactions?

SW Creatives in Washington DC is ready to help you with nonprofit branding. Call us today at 301-891-0111 to see how we can help.