Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Branding Promises You Should Make

Of all the nonprofit buzz words out there, branding reigns supreme.  You would be hard pressed to find an organization that isn't trying to increase awareness of their brand.

It's all well and good to talk about branding, but a nonprofit won't find much success if they don't follow some essential elements.  One of these is something called the brand promise, which is discussed in the book "Be Your Own Brand" by David McNally and Karl D. Speak.  A brand promise is a short yet inspiring statement that will provide the focus an organization needs to apply its distinctive qualities toward making a difference.  McNally and Speak offered the following suggestions for crafting a brand promise:
  • Remember to keep it short.  Anything more than five to eight words is too much.
  • Tone is key.  It should have a direct and action-oriented voice to get people excited and inspired.
  • Let people know, directly or indirectly, how your brand will pay off for them. 
  • On a related note, show how the brand provides value to others.
  • Don't be afraid of revisions.  There's nothing wrong with fine-tuning until it is just right.  After many iterations, your brand promise should keep everyone motivated and focused on your organization's brand strengths.
  • Test it with your friends and family.  They are the ones who will be the best judge of how it reads.  You will know you have a success based on their reactions.

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