Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of sponsoring the key note address for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits annual summit. I was honored to sponsor Carol Cone’s address, which shared key insights from the book Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding (BNB). Carol and her partner, Jocelyn Daw, are visionaries and leaders in the cause branding arena, and I’m so grateful for the groundbreaking work they do to help advance Cause strategies as a key element in a fully integrated marketing platform. Their latest contribution, BNB, is a wonderful new addition to the cause resources landscape.
In our blog posts, For Momentum (FM) makes a commitment not to rehash topics that have already been widely covered in the blogosphere. We know you are busy and don’t need the “umpteenth” opinion of the latest cause headlines. Instead, we strive to bring you insights you can leverage in your ongoing work. So, I’d like to share what I see as key, highly economical, insights you can apply from the BNB book.
BNB PRINCIPLE: DISCOVER THE AUTHENTIC MEANING OF YOUR BRAND
- FM insight: A key factor for cause success is transparent communications with the audience. Make sure that your cause partnerships are reinforcing your brand meaning in addition to communicating a short-term promotional message. A great example is ConAgra’s Child Hunger Ends Here campaign supporting Feeding America. The connection between a food company and a hunger charity is already very straightforward, but what I appreciate is how they go a step further to reinforce a particular aspect of both organization’s missions to End Childhood Hunger. Make sure you are taking every opportunity to promote deep brand meaning in your promotional outreach.
BNB PRINCIPLES: DEVELOP 360º BRAND COMMUNICATIONS AND EMBED YOUR BRAND MEANING ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION
- FM Insight: In today’s business environment, everyone is struggling for resources. One of the most effective and efficient ways to expand your cause messaging outreach is to leverage all existing resources to promote key messages. If you are a nonprofit organization, you are likely promoting key cause messages in your social media outreach, but you can also include appropriate messaging in your programmatic outreach, database marketing efforts, volunteer outreach strategies, and more. If you are a corporation, are you leveraging messaging beyond the marketing department? Be sure to coordinate with PR, HR, Community Relations, Sales and more. Break down the silos and leverage all available organizational assets!
BNB PRINCIPLE: RALLY INTERNAL BRAND AMBASSADORS
- FM Insight: Building on the point above, you can efficiently and effectively achieve optimal messaging by inviting a broad range of internal ambassadors to the planning table. Appoint a cause campaign ambassador from each key department and hold monthly planning meetings. Listen to their goals, perspectives and needs, and integrate them into the ongoing implementation plan, not just the launch discussions.
BNB PRINCIPLES: EXPAND YOUR BRAND BY MOBILIZING AN EXTERNAL COMMUNITY AND CULTIVATING PARTNERS TO EXTEND YOUR BRAND REACH AND INFLUENCE
- FM Insight: Of course, every cause marketer has dreams of a six or seven figure advertising budget to promote their messages. However, during the waking hours, the stark reality is that big budgets are not available. Of course you are leveraging social media tools. Hopefully you are mobilizing all internal resources possible. I also urge you to think creatively about ways to mobilize even further. One effective strategy we’ve used at For Momentum is to cultivate a relevant media partner. Our work to recruit ELLE magazine as an in-kind media partner for our client, Designs of Hope (partnership between IHG and US Fund For UNICEF) resulted in millions of impressions and dramatically enhanced fundraising results – over $5MM in 3 years. Click here to read the full Case Study.
BNB PRINCIPLE: LEVERAGE YOUR BRAND FOR ALTERNATIVE REVENUE AND VALUE
- FM Insight: Social enterprise (SE) is a great expansion strategy for both nonprofit organizations and corporations. Last year, For Momentum organized a day-long conference focused on SE for one of our clients. While the details of that particular conference are proprietary, I can provide you with some meaningful SE resources and links to explore further. Click the logos below:
For more on Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding:
- And, if you missed the previous Cause Marketing Forum webinar on BNB, here is handy link to the archives.
- If you are a CMF member, you can view it for free. For nonmembers, it is $99.
Good luck with creating your brand’s greatest breakthrough!