Tag Archives: non-profit

Free webinar: Socialize Your Healthcare/Non-Profit Recruitment

This inside look at social media recruiting best practices for hospitals, healthcare companies, and non-profit organizations will take place on Wednesday, March 13, at 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific.

Register for free here!

Non-Profit Branding: Yes, There is a Difference

My company has been working with several non-profits lately, and I’m constantly asked how branding in that space is different from “regular” branding. There are similarities, but also some important differences. Here’s what non-profits need to know about branding, based on my experience and research.

We start with “free.”
I understand that non-profits don’t have the marketing budgets of corporations so we start by leveraging every existing asset. Rather than creating new social media channels, how can we enhance the channels you’re already on? How can we repurpose your photos and videos? What are some past concepts or campaigns that could be revived with a compelling new angle? My fantastic staff and I have a knack for finding creative ways around limited budgets. For example, we’ve taken a stack of photos and turned them into a beautiful, moving slide show.


Talk to both the head and the heart.
Unlike other brands, non-profits aren’t selling a product or service; you’re selling a cause or a belief or a goal, which can sometimes be hard to define or quantify. This requires creating an emotional bond to donors, employees, and the people (or animals!) you serve. It is important to research that bond, deconstruct it, and examine it from every angle – and articulate it as your brand. As an example, see the World Wildlife Fund, which pairs its logical mission, “To conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth” with an emotional image, the giant panda.

Stay true to yourself.
As Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone point out in their recent study, non-profits run the risk of violating their own ethics or identity when they brand to a wide audience. They give the example of Acumen, which presents photos of proud, dignified individuals instead of pitiful images of poverty “which “dehumanize the very people Acumen is trying to help. I discourage branding from vanity, or because you just want a new logo. Branding is about the heart and soul of your organization and can’t be taken on and off like a shirt.

Tell a story
Storytelling was the #1 topic at SXSW and it works for non-profits as well. A strong brand is supported by good stories which allow people to connect to your mission. Brandemix helps non-profits find those stories, whether they’re about important milestones in your history, the life and deeds of your founder, or the success stories of the people you’ve helped. For example, the Sierra Club offers a blog called Explore, which features “stories of personal encounters with the natural world.” This turns large, complex issues, like hydraulic natural gas fracturing, into personal stories of triumph, wonder, and survival.

Non-profit branding is different from other types and requires a specialist. Brandemix has a history of giving back to the community by partnering with organizations such as the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island, the Legal Aid Society, and Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State Metro Services.

Non-profit  branding is a specialty. Call Brandemix if you’re looking for a specialist.

Non-Profit Branding. Yes there is a difference.

My company has been working with several non-profits lately, and I’m constantly asked how branding in that space is different from “regular” branding. There are similarities, but also some important differences. Here’s what nonprofits need to know about branding, based on my experience and research.

We start with “free.”
We understand that non-profits don’t have the marketing budgets of corporations so we start by leveraging every existing asset. Rather than creating new social media channels, how can we enhance the channels you’re already on? How can we repurpose your photos and videos? What are some past concepts or campaigns that could be revived with a compelling new angle? My fantastic staff and I have a knack for finding creative ways around limited budgets. For example, we’ve taken a stack of photos and turned them into a beautiful, moving slide show.

Talk to both the head and the heart.
Unlike other brands, nonprofits aren’t selling a product or service; you’re selling a cause or a belief or a goal, which can sometimes be hard to define or quantify.This requires creating an emotional bond to donors, employees, and the people (or animals!) you serve. It is important to research that bond, deconstruct it, and examine it from every angle – and articulate it as your brand. As an example, see the World Wildlife Fund, which pairs its logical mission, “To conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth” with an emotional image, the giant panda.
Stay true to yourself
As Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone point out in their recent study, non-profits run the risk of violating their own ethics or identity when they brand to a wide audience. They give the example of Acumen, which presents photos of proud, dignified individuals instead of pitiful images of poverty “which “dehumanize the very people Acumenis trying to help. I discourage branding from vanity, or because you just want a new logo. Branding is about the heart and soul of your organization and can’tbe taken on and off like a shirt.


Tell a story
Storytelling was the #1 topic at SXSW and it works for nonprofits as well. A strong brand is supported by good stories which allow people to connect to your mission. Brandemix helps nonprofits find those stories, whether they’re about important milestones in your history, the life and deeds of your founder, or the success stories of the people you’ve helped. For example, the Sierra Club offers a blog called Explore, which features “stories of personal encounters with the natural world.” This turns large, complex issues, like hydraulic natural gasfracturing, into personal stories of triumph, wonder, and survival.
Non-profit branding is a specialty. Call Brandemix if you’re looking for a specialist. 

Non Profit Branding- Whether You Are the Tail, The Dog or The Big Apple

NOTE: This month’s focus is on
Branding Q and A. All Q’s welcome- Jody

QUESTION:

I work for a division of a large, national non-profit organization. Do I need my own Employer Branding materials for recruitment marketing purposes, or should I just use the same materials as our national organization?

ANSWER:

While there’s no one answer to your question, here are 4 considerations that can help you decide on your best course of action.

  1. Organizational Alignment- How integrated is your chapter with the national organization and other member chapters from a talent management point-of-view? Are benefits, policies and services centralized? Do lateral opportunities and career mobility paths exist? Consider your answer and go to step 2.
  2. Brand Reputation and Tools- Let’s take a tip from Occam and presume the simplest path is the best. Consider whether or not there is a downside to piggybacking on the national brand. If you answered “yes” to question 1, and your national parent already has strong, positive brand awareness and great recruitment marketing materials, then alignment is advised. If there no alignment and there are some skeletons hiding in the closet (a story of embezzlement, bamboozlement or other) then cut the cord and go semi-solo.
  3. Unique Differentiators- Your answer may not be A or B, but rather A & B. In creating the employer brand architecture, you may find that there are some common elements to your culture and unique drivers as well. In that case, go for a brand-blend and highlight the positives of the co-brand and the unique benefits inherent only within your chapter.
  4. Competition for Talent: Are you competing for talent with your parent organization? If so, suit up and separate. You’re already competing for talent with other companies and non-profits in your area code, and I presume that compensation will not be the tipping point in candidate’s favorable decision to join you. Now what? Go back to number 2 and build your brand on your unique differentiators. The word differentiator is key.

Consider this ad campaign created by BRANDEMiX for Legal Aid Society of New York. In it, the city, not the organization, is the star. Talented professionals will always have choices of where to devote their time and/or money, but there is only one New York City. And giving back to a city that gives so much, and has been through so much, is powerful and pleasure-ful incentive that no other chapter could duplicate.


U DORSE IT- YOU BOUGHT IT!


I’m thrilled to introduce a special guest posting this week from writer and advertising illuminato Terry Selucky. Her work has been featured throughout the NY lit scene, most recently in New York Magazine. Below Terry shares insights into a new social media branding tool called Udorse. It’s a creative attempt to help brands leverage word-of-mouth in creating a movement. It’s a thought-provoking way of putting the onus on consumers to propel your movement.
—–

In 1994, when NPR’s All Things Considered broadcast an April Fool’s Day segment stating that corporations such as Pepsi, KFC, Apple and Gap would give a lifetime 10% discount to any teenager who would tattoo his or her ear with a corporate logo, droves of young people called in to find out how they could sign up. Those who knew better laughed.

But 15 years after the hoax, as we’re just beginning to settle into the digital age, Udorse.com has created the social media equivalent of a tattooed ear. By tagging certain items on photos throughout personal pages online, an individual can share favorite brands and, when tagging Udorse’s partners, earn money with each Udorsement. The tagger has the option to either donate his or her reward earnings to a favorite charity or have them deposited directly into a PayPal account.

Udorse.com, a company backed by Founders Fund and featured at TechCrunch50, is a direct response to the individual’s increasing desire—and ability—to ignore traditional advertising. DVR has allowed viewers to skip TV spots; pop-up blockers prohibit unwanted messages. Now, more than ever, consumers are filtering through the flotsam to get to products that are useful, sexy and recommended by someone they trust. But will Udorse catch on with advertising-elusive, tech-savvy consumers?

Probably not the way the company envisions, or hopes. Udorse claims to “empower each of us to endorse the items and places in our photos that we want to help support, and share with our friends.” That’s true, and well-spun. And Gen X may try it out, but while many successful brands are proudly touted as part of one’s identity, Gen Y is too skeptical to buy into a program that could so easily be seen as “selling out.”

It’s a logical leap forward in consumer-driven advertising, but it will only survive if people find it useful—or if advertisers find it profitable. Most likely, other companies are going to create better, more palatable versions of the same idea. And in the meantime, finding the function and form of your company remains top priority.