Our Blog


Why Your Nonprofit Needs an Enemy

A recent article in AdAge argues that every great story, and every great brand, has a strong, evident antagonist–someone to fight against. The author explains that Apple’s enemy was Microsoft, just as Luke fought against Darth Vadar. Great consumer marketing does this: It positions one product against another. We choose Nike over Reebok or Coke instead of Pepsi. I’d like to take this one step further as we think about the nonprofit sector. Your brand is a story, a story in which those who align with your brand are pitted against a challenging foe. But nonprofit enemies aren’t other... +Read More

What “Wheel of Fortune” Can Teach You About Your Brand

I grew up watching the television show “Wheel of Fortune.” We didn’t spend every dinner in front of the TV, but when we did, I loved to solve the puzzle. I loved Pat Sayjak. I loved filling in the blanks. Now that I look back on it, I think it’s possible those early word puzzle experiences made me a better brand consultant today. On every episode of the game show, the final puzzle is solved by the top scorer. She’s given 30 seconds to solve the puzzle. In the early days she was allowed to choose 6 letters to have filled in before she started guessing. Anyone who had ever watched the... +Read More

We just changed our tagline…and it wasn’t easy.

We had a great tagline, and it served us well for over a decade. And then our tagline stopped working. How did we know? It just didn’t feel like us anymore. It wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t as good as it could be. It wasn’t as good as the Mission Minded of today. Consider our old tagline: Marketing Communication for Nonprofits and Other Do-gooders When we created Mission Minded in 2002, other professionals and agencies dedicated to serving the nonprofit sector were few and far between. That’s not true today—there are increasingly more individuals and companies devoted to doing good... +Read More

4 Tips to Ensure Your Event’s Visual Presence Stays On-Brand

When you decide to host an event, it says a lot about your organization and your brand. Every aspect—from the planning through to the execution—should be a reflection of all of the elements of your brand. How will you bring your brand values to life? How will your personality be reflected in your event communications? Staying focused and dedicated to your brand is a must for a successful event. Too often we see organizations get carried away with events. Understandably—it takes precious time and valuable resources to host a successful event, so you naturally give it your all. Yet, your... +Read More

Should Each of Your Programs Have its Own Brand?

We hear this question often: Should we be branding each of our individual programs, or trying to create one single “umbrella” brand under which all our programs can live? Many nonprofits have named programs that are better known than the organization that runs them. If a program is popular – having a lot of name recognition, participants, and donors – why not let it stand alone in all its glory? We’ve observed our clients face two main problems when one (or more) of their programs takes on a life of its own: Internal stakeholders, such as volunteers and staff, feel that they work... +Read More

When it comes to your message, how much is enough?

We counsel our clients to repeat, repeat, repeat: Get a good message and stick with it—in print, digital, and spoken communications. In fact, we often say that someone needs to hear a message 14 times before they will take action based on that message. I recently went looking for the original source material for that fact. We’d initially heard the “14 times rule” as an adage in advertising and wondered if prevailing wisdom—especially in an age of social media—had changed. The term for the number of times someone has to hear a message before acting on it is called “effective... +Read More