Posts Tagged ‘Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding’
I’m often hesitant to mention “branding” — the core of my consulting work — in nonprofit circles. The reason is simple: It can be a conversation killer.
New research by Harvard’s Nathalie Kylander and Christopher Stone suggests why. Drawing on interviews across 41 organizations, Kylander and Stone identify four reasons for skepticism toward branding among nonprofits:
- Nonprofit leaders widely associate branding with “the commercial pursuit of monetary gain,” which debases their work.
- A brand is often seen as “peremptorily imposed from above” in lieu of a strategic planning process, which is viewed as more participatory.
- Some believe leadership vanity is a larger motivation for branding than fulfilling a mission.
- Large nonprofit “bully brands” overshadow weaker organizations and “give brand management a bad reputation.”
These and other reasons for skepticism can’t change one fact: Any organization, nonprofit or for-profit, has a brand the moment it opens for business and people experience it. The question isn’t brand or no brand; it’s how well the brand is managed, communicated and experienced. (more…)