Everyone and everything seems to have a brand these days: businesses, charities, sports clubs, celebrities, even events (look at London 2012!). So what do we mean, when we say ‘brand’? Well, a ‘brand’ is a communication tool. It’s the thing that connects an organisation to their audience. So it’s as relevant – and valuable – to a charity like yours, as it is to any commercial business. The scale might be different, but the job it does (and the benefit it delivers), is just the same.
The importance of branding for charities is highlighted by the new identity for Cancer Research UK, which was unveiled in September. Their motivation to change was that ,“We were looking out of touch at a time when the economy is fragile and the public have more choice than ever before”. For a charity that relies on donations to continue their work, communication is vital.
But it’s not just national charities that are making changes. We’re working with a number of charities across the south west who recognise the importance of brand and communication to their growth and development. One of those is an arts-based charity who recognise that they need to communicate more clearly – and to new audiences – to achieve their objectives. We also work with Hospiscare, and since 2007 have been supporting their internal marketing team. Our work with Hospiscare began with a brand development exercise, to give them the communication tools they needed to reach their audience.
Your brand is really two things, separate but connected, a bit like a coin with two sides. One side of this coin is the tools and activities you use to communicate with your customers. These tools might include your logo, your literature, your website… anything visual. The activities might include an advertising campaign, press coverage or events you run… anything you do to encourage people to use the services or products you provide.
The other side of the coin is the impression you leave behind, as a result of communicating with your audience. Their opinion of the service and products you deliver. Another way to think of it is your ‘reputation’. Brand is one word to describe these two things.
So if you want to communicate better, take a look at your brand. Does it help you reach your target audience? Does it help you create new opportunities? If you’re not sure, then it’s probably time to make a change.
If you’d like to know more about what your brand can do for your charity you might be interested in the ebook we’re publishing in October; Brand Aid, 10 Brand Tips for Charities. If you’d like to know more, keep an eye on www.alderandalder.co.uk
Alder and Alder are an Exeter brand agency who work with ambitious organizations that are passionate about what they do. They help them to turn that passion into success, by making better use of their brand. They work with our clients to create the tools and strategy they need to achieve their ambitions, so we design logos, literature, websites… whatever’s needed to communicate better. You can get in touch with them here Alder and Alder website.