Is your brand a prison?

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One of the theories behind branding is that consistency helps your audience remember who you are. So you zero in on a look and feel, and stick to it.

There’s nothing wrong with that theory. An undisciplined stream of messages can leave donors unclear who you are, often confusing you with other organizations. You have trouble gaining relationship traction, because you aren’t solidly anchored in people’s minds.

But there’s consistency, and there’s mindless, imprisoned, unvarying conformity that blocks communication.

Here’s one of the latter, from Food Lifeline:

Brandprison

Really, when it’s Holiday time, the best approach is to look, feel, and sound like the Holidays. That probably means using the Holiday colors that live in the minds of the people you’re communicating. Mainly, those garish reds and saturated greens.

And if those colors aren’t in your brand color palette? (Chances are they aren’t in anybody’s color palette, other than Santa Claus.)

Well, it’s time to consider coloring outside the lines.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a branded color palette. But if those mandated colors are overruling your real goals — like reminding donors to send you a Holiday gift — then the palette is doing you more harm than good.

Your brand standards should exist serve your fundraising, not the other way around. Too many organizations cripple and distort their attempts to mobilize donors in order to stay obedient to the brand’s all-purpose consistency.

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Comments

2 responses to “Is your brand a prison?”

  1. I think more people need to take a look at what brands are winning and being flexible with their marks and colours… take for instance Google. http://www.google.com/doodles/finder/2012/All%20doodles
    And that’s just 2012.

  2. I think more people need to take a look at what brands are winning and being flexible with their marks and colours… take for instance Google. http://www.google.com/doodles/finder/2012/All%20doodles
    And that’s just 2012.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.