Your team may be great at actively living your organization’s brand and its values. But do you budget for it? Steve Jobs once said, “Even a great brand needs investment and caring if it’s going to retain its relevance and vitality.” Like any valuable asset, you need to attend to your organization’s brand upkeep and relevancy.
And investing in your brand isn’t just for big companies. Strategic and savvy nonprofit and education leaders know that continuously reinforcing what differentiates their organization from others is what will ensure their brand stays fresh and evergreen.
As you budget for your next fiscal year, here are a few ways you might invest in brand upkeep:
Budget both the time and the money to make this a compelling piece, not just a fiduciary commitment. Some of our clients use their newly articulated values as a way of telling the story of the organization’s impact in any given year. Use consistent brand messages and visual identity. Looking at this communication through a brand lens means it can’t be hastily or frugally executed.
It’s tempting to think “Phew! We have a new website, we’re done.” But your web presence is an alive and breathing part of your brand. It needs updating, and not just in content, but for security and new or different features. Additionally, web technology is constantly changing and accessibility rules and features are also always evolving, so it’s important to stay on top of this before it becomes an overly taxing project that gets away from you.
A comment that haunts me still was at an event I attended years ago where the attendee sitting next to me, clearly the guest of another person, leaned over and asked, “Remind me what this benefit is for, again?” Brand your event. Add signage throughout the event spaces. Tie the auction items thematically to your brand identity. Decide the one thing you want people to walk away from the event knowing about you, and leverage your brand and budget to achieve that.
Branding is not a ‘one-and-done’ activity; it requires consistent intentionality to ensure that every touchpoint reinforces your brand, or reputation, for which you want to be known. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t let a home you own fall into disrepair through neglect—it’s too valuable of an asset. The same is true of the reputation you’ve worked so hard to craft and earn.
How have you invested in your brand? Reach out to learn how Mission Minded can help you create a strategy behind your organization’s brand.
Sarah R. Moore, our Director of Brand Strategy, joined Mission Minded from a career that has spanned both the private and nonprofit sector.
See all posts by Sarah Moore