The Arc’s CEO, Peter Berns, was recently quoted in an excellent article about branding nonprofit organizations on the Lighbox Collborative blog, called “Down with branding. Up with bonding!” The article offers nonprofits a new perspective on branding, taking it out of the realm of sales and marketing and putting it squarely in the realm of relationship-building. It points out that a brand encompasses every aspect of an organization, and therefore does not belong exclusively to the marketing team but should be understood and promoted by everyone.
Branding is generally thought of in terms of selling and product or service-and therefore sometimes dismissed by nonprofit organizations who believe they’re not in the sales business. But a big part of selling a product is building some sort of relationship with the consumer, much the same way we build relationships with our constituents, both the people we serve and those who support us.
That is why branding is such a big deal in the nonprofit arena, and why The Arc is undertaking a huge initiative in 2011 to introduce a new brand identity to the world. Branding doesn’t end with a new logo, or new colors or a slick brochure or ad. Branding is carried on every day, by every staff member, volunteer and advocate every time they tell someone about The Arc, organize a workshop, host an event, and even just answer the phone. Read this article and start thinking about how you define and support our brand and what a difference that can make.