Modern branding is built on several simple imperatives: How do you make yourself heard above the general cacophony of the marketplace? How do you differentiate yourself from other charities or support organisations with similar goals and values?
And most importantly, how can you do that in a way that has meaning and value to the people you want to reach?
If you’re a support organisation, the chances are you still get frustrated because the resources and information you offer are not always fully understood or used by your audience.
If you’re a charity - especially a small one - you almost certainly find that the people you want to reach simply aren’t aware of who you are, what you do and why it’s so important.
Research by Cancer Research UK found that public perception of the third sector is that most organisations are much of a muchness, rather uninsipiring and not particularly memorable. It’s a damning indictment, but no huge surprise when you consider the following:
Too much choice
Put simply, there is simply too much of everything these days – including chariities. There are 160,000 registered charities in the UK, which makes for a crowded and competitive marketplace. If you’re a support organisation, your audience is almost certainly bemused by the complex and not always logical relationships and structures that exist to help them.
The overcommunicated society
You’ve almost certainly heard it before but we’ll say it again. More than one study has concluded that the average person confronts 3,000 messages each day. Perhaps more importantly, people now realise they are being marketed to. They realise they are part of a market segment that is having products, services and messages crafted especially for it – and that gives audiences a certain power.
The consumer as an activist
The increase of fairtrade and other ‘ethical’ products has eaten into the influence – and profits – of larger charity brands. Many people now basically form and follow their own private agendas when it comes to ethical behaviour. The bottom line is that charities are not fundamental to buying habits - as confirmed by the same Cancer Research report, which found that 34 per cent of consumers were more likely to buy a product if they knew it had positive social and environmental actions.
Whether you’re a frontline or support organisation, a good brand strategy can help you overcome all these and challenges and more.