When you think of the term brand, big companies like Coca-Cola, Apple or Google might come to mind. But brands aren’t just reserved for huge corporations. Many are surprised to hear that we all have our own brands, as do the organizations we work for.
Do you know what your organization’s brand is? If you do, that’s great! You’ll want to make sure you’re conveying your brand in all of your communications with your audience.
If you don’t know your organizations’ brand, have no fear! A brand is simply a person’s perception of a product, experience, service or organization. The keyword being, perception.
Do you know how your organization is perceived by those in your community? If not, you should find out. Some methods include conducting surveys or focus groups and monitoring social media. What else can you do to find out what people in your community believe about your organization?
Here’s a little exercise to help.
If your organization were a person, what would it wear? (There are no wrong answers!) Shorts and sandals? Khakis and a polo? Jeans and a t-shirt? A suit? A Hawaiian shirt? Something else? The answer to this question will help you consider the personality of your organization.
Now take this exercise a little further. Based on the personality of your organization, what would you wear to an adoption event? What about to a fundraiser? Or to meet with a donor? Picturing yourself representing the personality of your organization in various scenarios can help you identify your organization’s brand.
Next, write down five adjectives and five adverbs to describe your organization. In case it’s been a while since you thought about grammar, an adjective modifies a noun or pronoun (a curious cat). An adverb modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb (The dog eats quickly.) A few more examples of adjectives include: red, happy, quick, obnoxious, friendly. Other examples of adverbs include: quietly, now, quite, often, intelligently.
Choose one of the scenarios and write a sentence or two about who you are (who your organization is) using the adjectives and adverbs you chose. When you are finished, compare the sentences you wrote and the clothing you described. Do they match? If not, re-examine the clothing and the words. Aligning them will help you land on your brand and voice, which will guide how you communicate with your audience.
Want more tips on how to convey your organization’s brand, reach your audiences and more? Take our self-paced course, Fundamentals of Marketing online at Maddie’s® University! You can also apply for the online apprenticeship next week!