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Your Brand is a Shortcut. Where Does it Lead?

Posted by on August 19th, 2014
Posted in Blog   

Strong brands lead to desired interactions. They quickly attract the audiences who align with their values, appreciate what the brands offer, and support the organizations with their resources.

Does your organization’s brand offer your audiences a clear shortcut to the action you want them to take? If not, it’s time to reassess your brand strategy.

Here’s why: your organization’s brand offers your target audiences a shortcut for (1) understanding who you are and what value they might derive from engaging with you, and then (2) acting accordingly.

One year ago, powerful storms swamped the city of Boulder, Colorado. Entire communities were washed away. Today, some residents of Colorado’s mountain communities are still recovering and repairing the damages brought on by the storm.

Many organizations and individuals responded to the emergency, but one organization became the focal point for Americans’ concern and generosity in the wake of the storm, just as it has countless times before.

When natural disasters strike, millions of Americans turn to American Red Cross to express their support for those affected. Why? Because they know what American Red Cross stands for.

Chances are, most Americans don’t know what year American Red Cross was founded, which countries it operates in, how many volunteers it has, or what specific programs it might offer. What they do know is that American Red Cross stands for disaster relief. So they donate to the Red Cross as the best way to help victims of disaster. The American Red Cross brand, one of the most powerful in the world, acts as a shortcut to understanding—and to action.

See what’s happening here? The stronger the brand, the shorter the shortcut. The stronger the brand, the less an organization’s target audiences have to think about engaging with it. The stronger the brand, the better an organization’s chance for sustainability and impact.

Brands that are unclear or inconsistent often lead to dismissal, disengagement, inaction—they’re roads that lead to nowhere. Strong, clear brands lead to support, engagement, and action—they’re shortcuts that lead to our desired destination.

At Mission Minded, we believe that an organization’s brand is much more than just a couple of words that guide the color palette of your website or the clever tagline for your upcoming campaign.

Your brand should guide your organization’s programmatic and operational decisions. Stay true to your brand promise, and you can rest assured that you’re cultivating a clear, powerful shortcut to success.

And, the way we see it, strong brands help nonprofit organizations thrive—and thriving nonprofits mean a healthier, happier world.


Zach Hochstadt is a Mission Minded Founding Partner and runs Mission Minded’s Denver office, leading the company’s creative teams in the areas of message development, writing, graphic design, and web design and development.

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