Put the Brand Before the Marketing Plan

Devising a strategy about your organization, its mission and target audience are all components of an effective branding campaign.

Branding your company or nonprofit organization involves more than simply designing a logo.

What’s in a brand?

In short, everything.

Far more than simply choosing colors and graphics to design a logo for your business or organization, branding encompasses everything from the mission, the customer or member experience to how your audience and prospects recognize you and, ultimately, what sets you apart from competitors or similar entities.

Before finalizing any type of public relations or marketing plan, it’s imperative to first answer a few questions about what you hope to communicate and then build your brand to achieve those goals.

What does your organization have to offer?

With competition fierce both in the nonprofit and business worlds and organizations in every industry competing against each other for customers, members and donations, setting yourself apart is key. Brainstorming about your organization’s mission, who you are and how/why your organization is unique is a first step in brand-building.

Who is your target audience?

In conjunction with devising a mission statement, it’s important to determine who you hope to reach. Who will be buying your products or services? Who will be donating to your cause or joining your organization? For some organizations this may be obvious. For others, it may require some market research and a bit of analysis.

What does your audience want and how can you help?

After determining who you hope to reach, it’s important to recognize what your potential customers, members or donors may want from your organization. Also, what are your target audience’s pain points and how can your organization solve their problem(s)? Your audience will likely have some expectations about what it hopes to achieve from a business or organization such as yours. How will your offerings fulfill – and exceed – their expectations?

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Next steps

After strategizing about your organization and its audience, the next steps are to put the bones of a branding plan to action. These tips will help get you started.

  1. Start with an idea

Oftentimes effective brands are built on simple, yet clever concepts: Images and slogans that are catchy and easy to remember. A good branding concept will communicate the spirit of your organization.

  1. Be consistent

Once you develop the perfect logo, tagline and slogan, be sure to incorporate all elements in all of your materials: Your Website, social media campaigns, advertising/marketing materials, power point presentations and any other outlet where your business or nonprofit organization is mentioned.

  1. Become an expert in your niche

Blogging is a great way to establish an authoritative voice for your organization and show prospective customers or members that your business is in the know about the particular industry at hand. Beyond writing for your organization’s Website, it might also be worthwhile to blog on niche forums and write guest articles in related publications. The more outlets communicating your expertise the easier it will be to kick your brand-building efforts into high gear.

Branding is not something your organization can achieve overnight. Sometimes perspectives from others outside of your business or organization can be helpful. Katalinas Communications can assist in crafting your branding strategy. Call Theresa Katalinas at 215-519-8833 or email katalinascommunication@gmail.com to learn more.

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