Three Small Words Can Help Build Your Nonprofit Brand

EAG, August 20, 2010

By Paul Weber
from Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. Newsletter

At the recent American Marketing Association Nonprofit Marketing Conference one theme kept recurring with speakers and facilitators; a solid brand message must be developed and delivered internally, long before any external advertising is created. But developing this message is easier said than done.

While most nonprofits painstakingly create vision and mission statements, the brand statements (also called brand positioning) is not usually a focus and is often missing from internal and external language. The cost of an unclear brand message can result in poor communication to the community and decreased advertising impact. But how do you know if your brand message is intact?

Assemble key members or your organization including volunteers, Board members or staff. Ask the group to individually describe “What we do” using only three words. The result might look like this; We help people. We build bridges. We create hope. If the group assembled has widely divergent answers, then the brand message is already unclear – even among your internal audience.

Building a powerful brand positioning statement begins the same way. Through dialogue and consensus, the group should agree on the three key words that describes “What we do.” Then the exercise expands, adding words to the statement in segments. In each case, answer a specific question that focuses on your audience or customer. You may also include questions and statements that distinguish you from competitors or others with similar services. Each statement segment builds your brand position with clarity.

For example, the results of a brand positioning exercise might result in a series of statements like this; We create hope (what we do), for families facing financial crisis (for whom), through counseling and support (how), in a faith-based community environment (unique proposition). This statement then expands to fill your communication needs, but the strength of this exercise is that each person who helped create the wording will carry the same message to others in the organization and in the community.

A brand positioning statement must have champions whose challenge is to permeate the organization with these words and phrases. Repetition is the key to memory. The average American is exposed to over 3,000 advertising brand messages a day. Consistent delivery of the same words and phrases, developed with thought and clarity, is the first step in building an effective brand.

How much time and energy should you devote to establishing a series of brand positioning statements? As much time as necessary to develop a clear and concise message. In absence of this process, future communications and advertising can significantly lose its impact. Three small words can help start a process that will add power to your message.

Big consumer brands have understood the importance of brand positioning for some time. Many in the nonprofit community also understand the value of the process. If your organization has yet to explore your unique brand position, consider the importance of spending a little time to make your words more powerful and more memorable.


26 Responses

  1. I don’t even understand how I stopped up here, however I assumed this publish used to be good.
    I don’t realize who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger
    in case you are not already. Cheers! asmr 0mniartist

  2. 0mniartist says:

    I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit
    more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Outstanding work! asmr 0mniartist

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on asmr Regards asmr 0mniartist

  4. What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this
    I have found It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads.
    I am hoping to contribute & assist different customers like
    its aided me. Great job. asmr 0mniartist

  5. says:

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now
    😉 0mniartist asmr

  6. gamefly the says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  7. asmr what says:

    Thanks in support of sharing such a pleasant opinion, article is nice,
    thats why i have read it fully

  8. on asmr says:

    You are so cool! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read through anything like that before.
    So good to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this subject.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one
    thing that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

  9. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are
    a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.

    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work
    on. You have done a wonderful job!

  10. was asmr says:

    It’s an awesome post in support of all the web people; they
    will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

  11. says:

    What’s up, its fastidious paragraph on the topic of media
    print, we all know media is a great source of information. scoliosis

  12. says:

    Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading
    correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking
    issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and
    both show the same outcome. scoliosis

  13. dating sites
    I seriously love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make
    this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to
    create my very own site and want to know where you got this from or exactly
    what the theme is named. Many thanks! dating sites

  14. free dating sites
    I’m extremely impressed along with your writing skills as well as with the layout in your blog.
    Is this a paid topic or did you modify it your self?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice
    blog like this one these days.. dating sites

  15. asmr was says:

    you are actually a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible.
    It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
    Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have
    done a great job on this subject!

  16. Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular
    and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with
    forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  17. Someone essentially lend a hand to make severely posts I’d state.
    This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far?
    I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual post
    extraordinary. Fantastic process!

  18. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  19. scoliosis of says:

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues?

    Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

  20. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I liked this blog post.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

  21. Howdy I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you
    by error, while I was browsing on Yahoo for something else, Regardless I am here now
    and would just like to say cheers for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at
    the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will
    be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  22. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

  23. says:

    Why visitors still make use of to read news papers when in this
    technological world everything is available on net?

Tell Us What You Think