Creating A Strong Brand Image For Your Nonprofit
This post is written by a guest blogger Jessica Henderson. Jessica is a business and marketing blogger with 10 years of professional experience. She enjoys providing her audience with tips and advice in helping them grow their online businesses.
When I say the words “brand image”, your mind may conjure thoughts of corporate giants like Coca-Cola and Amazon. Both brands have a strong, streamlined brand image that consumers can easily recognise. To promote their unique branding, the companies have kept their imagery, styles, and overall themes consistent throughout the years.
Although big brands like these may strategically tweak specific aspects of their branding to stay relevant to the times, they have done so in such a way that they keep their core identity true to their originals.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, a brand image plays a pivotal role in an organisation’s success, regardless of whether it’s a big-time player or a modest nonprofit. But, for a nonprofit to cumulate success, they may need to work that little bit harder to yield results because of the possible financial limitations. They also want to attract a different kind of audience than a typical business.
Today, I’m going to explain how you can create a strong brand image for your nonprofit organisation.
Dive Into Your Audience’s World
There’s no brand image without an audience. To promote your nonprofit appropriately, you need to know who you’re addressing. Educating yourself on who your audience are, their personalities, ages, interests, and professions, will help you communicate with them effectively.
When we communicate with like-minded people, we are more open, receptive, and generally have better rapport than with those with whom we have nothing in common. That receptiveness is what will drive your results and develop trust.
Gather as much data about your audience as you can from the likes of Google analytics and other sources. Build a complete customer profile based on your data so that you can tailor your content, brand image, and style to your audience.
Develop Your Mission, Vision, And Values
This is an easy step to overlook, particularly for nonprofits because you may feel your attention is better served elsewhere. But, articulating the specific reasons why you are working on a particular project or towards a cause, will go a long way in communicating those specifics with your audience.
A brand is much like a person. A person who has a clear vision of where they want to be, actively strives towards fulfilling their life’s mission, and who lives by their values, could be looked at in a more positive light. They believe in something and live by those beliefs with integrity.
Doing something “just because” is not a reason. Lacking in these three crucial points; mission, vision, and values, will radiate a non-caring attitude towards your intentions. Develop these reasons and proudly display them wherever possible; on your social media channels, emails, website, and brochure content. Let your audience know that you are proud of them.
Design Your Logo, Colour Scheme, And Overall Appearance
The appearance of your brand will set you apart from other nonprofits. If you have your customer profile down to a tee, you’re all set to for designing your logo, colour scheme, and appearance of your brand.
When we look at colour psychology, we can understand that different colours have different associated meanings, and therefore, induce a mood or reaction that we associate with that colour. Warm colours, for example, create a sense of urgency, and cool colours create a more relaxed atmosphere.
You can use colour psychology to convey your brand image, utilising colours that match your brand’s intended personality.
The following five personality traits were gathered from a study conducted by Aaker (1997):
|Excitement||Red, Orange, Yellow|
Once you’ve determined your colour scheme, incorporate them into your logo and other design work. Consider the typography of your logo, the picture, and your tagline.
Use your chosen colours consistently throughout your media.
Get Your Website Up-To Scratch
Website design is not all about making your website look pretty. Although, a fabulous-looking website that incorporates your chosen colours and style will boost your brand image. However, the functionality of your website is almost more important than how it looks.
By functionality, I mean its speed, navigation, and mobile-friendliness. This is an essential consideration as recent stats confirm that that 47% of internet users expect webpages to load in just 2 seconds! Additionally, a 1-second loading delay can cost a business 7% of their conversions.
So you see, functionality and speed are vital components of a positive overall brand image.
Multiple things contribute to your site’s speed, including the amount and size of different types of media (images, animations, etc.), whether or not everything is up-to-date, and your various widgets. These are all things you can manage yourself quite easily. But, the most influencing speed factor will usually be your website host.
If you’re a nonprofit trying to keep your costs low, one option is to host your website yourself by turning your computer into a WAMP server. This is a cheap, ideal solution for small-scale, simple sites and those just starting out.
However, when your volume of traffic increases, you will almost definitely need to scale up with a reputable hosting service to avoid your site slowing down and lagging.
Continue checking for updates and testing your site’s speed for its entire lifespan. As time moves forward, speed expectations will only become more demanding.
Tell A Fantastic Story
Storytelling is not just for books! Stories grab your audience’s attention and help them to follow (and remember) what you’re communicating. Studies have shown that listening to stories actually alter brain activity by stimulating considerably more parts of the brain than if we were just reading boring, unstructured information. This brain stimulation helps listeners to create a whole mental image of the story; thoughts, feelings, pictures, and all, making it a more powerful experience.
To use the storytelling technique in your brand-building, structure your content accordingly. Include a beginning, middle, and end, as well as a relatable “character” who overcomes challenges, achieves something amazing or contributes meaningfully to a worthy cause. Take your readers on a journey from start to finish.
Lastly, Promote, Promote, Promote!
You’ve built your fantastic brand image, now you need to make sure people see it and remember it! Be consistent and promote your brand image whenever you can, both online and offline.