On September 26th we are excited to announce we’ll be speaking at a fantastic seminar organised by Charity Comms called ‘Beyond HQ: comms for charities with branches and groups’. The seminar will look at how charities can create consistent brand messages across different branches or groups.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a fantastic series of blog posts all about brand for charities. Each week in the run up to the seminar we’ll be sharing our top tips and advice on branding. This week we start with a simple question: What is branding?
Not just a logo
When you initially hear the word brand, what comes to mind? Chances are you think logo and possibly what colour a website is. Granted, logos and colour scheme are part of what a brand is but it is also much more than that.
Brand = influence
Branding is a communication tool that allows you to connect with your audience. It enables you to create a long-lasting impression on your audience that impacts what they think, feel and say about your organisation. A pretty powerful tool huh?
Branding is fundamentally who you are. It tells your audience what you believe in, what your goals are and what they can expect from you. It demonstrates your values and ethos as an organisation. In some respects the concept of branding isn’t tangible; it’s a feeling you create in your audience.
Branding is about perception. It determines whether an audience choose to support your charity or not. Your brand highlights the personality of your organisation and determines whether your audience trust the messages you are sharing.
The different components of brand
Of course in order to have that impact you need to build your brand and that is made up of many different components. Some of these components are tangible and include things like:
- What your logo looks like
- What font you use
- The colour palette you choose
- Your marketing material
Yet much of it is conceptual and includes:
- The messages about your charity that you convey
- What feeling you invoke in your audience when talking about your organisation
- The behaviour in your audience you are trying to influence or change
- How you establish yourself as being different from other charities
- Your positioning
The three most important factors in creating a brand for your charity are establishing your values, your tone of voice and your visual identity. This helps to tell your charity’s story so your audience really understand what it is you do and how you achieve it.
Branding is who you are
In short, branding is what makes you different from all of the other charities out there. In the UK, the charity and not for profit sector is highly competitive so in order to achieve your goals you need to stand out from the crowd and have a strong identity.
So now you have a good understanding of what branding is, next week we’ll look at the value of branding why it’s important for charities and not for profits.
Image source: http://www.sebastienmillon.com/Identity-Crisis-Cow
More on branding:
This blog post is part of a series all about branding, please follow the below links to read the previous posts.