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Why the Easy Choice Isn’t On-Brand

Posted by on April 25th, 2019
Posted in Blog, Nonprofit Branding, Nonprofit Design, Nonprofit Fundraising, Nonprofit Messaging, Nonprofit Naming, Nonprofit Taglines, Nonprofit Web   

The moment of truth is upon you.

You’ve approved your budget, wrangled myriad stakeholders, invested hard-won funds, devoted months of time, and exhausted oceans of brainwaves all in guiding your branding project to success. Now — after all of those expenditures — you look up to see a wall of nervous, expectant faces. There’s a difficult decision to be made, and the buck stops with you.

Will you sign off on something daring and different or will you opt for the easy choice?

This same point of inflection occurs in nearly every branding project, whether you’re choosing a new name for your organization or approving a design direction for your school’s admissions materials. Every day, we at Mission Minded watch directors, heads of school, and other leaders struggle to choose the course of action most appropriate for their organization. Sometimes, they undertake their struggle internally and other times they balance input from people who’ve been part of the process (and, alas, others who haven’t) with what their gut tells them.

In all cases, however, we offer the same advice: trust the process and trust your brand.

Mission Minded’s methodology, refined through years of experience, starts and ends with strategy. This means that all along we collaborate with you to elevate a brand that’s true to your organization. Each decision we make refers back to strategy and uses brand to chart a path toward mission success.

Even when the path ahead of us feels unfamiliar — or even uncomfortable.

Think of it this way; you have one of two choices:

  • Have faith in the decisions you’ve made thus far and, taking one logical step after another, continue advancing in the direction your brand dictates; or
  • Revert back to doing the same thing you’ve always done, even if it ignores the issues that led you to hire a branding firm in the first place.

We’ll point out that we’re not offering this advice because we want our clients to do what we suggest; we’re offering it because what we suggest is based on the strategy we’ve developed collaboratively with you.

You can do the same thing you did last year without us — but making those safe choices won’t help you clear the hurdles ahead. To build a brand, you have to be willing to stand out in ways that let your uniqueness shine forth.

Trusting the process may feel like a leap of faith, but it’s actually the opposite. It’s applying our combined intelligence, your insight into your field, and our experience in branding to a problem that requires a novel — but logical — solution.

Let brand be your guide. If each of your decisions is on brand, you’ll never go astray. But don’t just take our word for it; in the video below, let the Marin Academy leadership explain how trusting in a big, bold brand idea, even when it felt frightening, drew more people to their work.

The same success can be yours.





Rod Lemaire is a Mission Minded Partner and Creative Director, overseeing our award-winning design studio. Rod delivers more than a decade of art direction and communication design expertise for mission-driven organizations.

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