Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > Branding Your Community Group - Part 2

Branding your Community Group - Part 2

How do you build a brand?

first part of the Branding your Community Group help sheet explained:
  • What branding is;
  • What it aims to do, and.
  • Why it should be considered by community groups and not-for-profits.
Before continuing with part 2 of the help sheet, ensure you have read the first part – accessible by Clicking Here.

Once community groups have made the decision to refine their branding, the next step for them is to undertake a branding exercise of their own.

Steps Towards Building a Brand

1. Testing the water:

  • Ask some questions.
    • Organise a survey, questionnaire or even a few questions (formal or informal) of people outside your group. Ask:
      • Generally, what do they think of your group and its activities?
      • How many recognise your name and can say what you stand for?
      • How many feel positive towards your group?
      • How many feel your message is confused or muddled?
      • Would they be prepared to:
        • Volunteer?
        • Join up?
        • Donate?
        • Show their support in some other way?
        • Attend your function?
  • Set some goals.
    • When you have gathered these responses:
      • Examine them, and look for any trends, both positive and negative, that may emerge through the responses.
    • Then develop goals in response to these trends. Work out how much you want to improve aspects of your organisation that are perceived to be lacking – for example:
      • Membership numbers.
      • Supporter numbers.
      • Donations, or.
      • Fundraiser participation or attendance in the coming year.
    • Make sure those goals are easily measurable.

2. Developing Your Brand

  • Review how you currently present to the world.
    • Gather together the major stakeholders in your group – the committee or leadership team, members, clients or supporters - for a brainstorming session.
    • Prepare a "brainstorming" work sheet with the following five columns.
  • In column one:
    • List what your organisation does:
    • The services you provide.
    • The issues you cover.
    • The people you serve or cater to.
    • The activities you take part in.
No judgments or adjectives here - this column is simply for the facts about what you do.
  • In column two:
    • Write the words that describe how you approach these things and the audiences they serve and list them in the second column.
      • These are both the values you've identified and the adjectives that your stakeholders, members, supporters or donors would be most likely to use to describe you.
      • For example, are you:
        • "new" and "challenging";
        • "established" and "supportive of young people";
        • "multi-disciplinary" or "single-issue/discipline focussed".
  • In column three:
    • This is where the creativity really kicks in - paint the picture.
      • Translate these adjectives into colours, textures, typefaces, and styles.
      • Collect samples from other groups' materials to look at - design books or magazines can help - so you can point to particular shades, fonts, or pictures that "feel" like your organisation.
    • If you have a logo, integrate it into this mix, or possibly adapt it so it better suits this mix.
    • The more people that can be involved in this part of the process, the better.
  • In column four:
    • List all your communication tools.
      • These can be overt communications tools like event posters and television or newspaper advertising, or
      • Other tools you have that can "bear your brand" to the public – phone greetings, uniforms, email messages, stationary and media releases.
      • Then ask yourselves:
        • "What do we need to do to integrate our existing communication tools into our new branding strategy?"
    • This may see you think about adapting your email signatures, stationary and documents from your group to integrate your new brand, as well as having a set telephone introduction for employees to use when answering calls.
  • In column five:
    • List all your group's actions and activities.
      • Then, as in column four, work out how they can be integrated into your branding strategy.
        • This may see changes to group policies – for example, an emphasis on recycling in your organisation or even guidelines on fair play and on-field conduct for sporting groups.
    • Branding is more than just a logo or physical appearance. It is an attitude and ethos that only works when it becomes part of your group's everyday activities.

3. Establishing your brand

  • Try to save.
    • Look around for someone, possibly an existing sponsor, supporter or member contact, that will give you cheap – or better still, free - service to put together this branding.
      • An idea may be to try your local design school and see if they want any student projects.
  • Sell it to your people.
    • Take the new look to those linked to your group's stakeholders as an opportunity for a new approach. They'll be the ones who are selling the branding so it's important that they support the new message.
  • Use the brand.
    • Whatever it is you do, you want people to see your name and react positively. Whether it is providing health services, looking after homeless children, providing quality education programs to young adults or running a sporting club, you want your brand to be identified with quality.
  • Successful branding means recognition.
    • Once you have that recognition, you can:
    • More confidently return to fundraising, membership drives, donation drives and other activities. With less time spent explaining who you are and what you do, you can focus on the need, cause or activities that are of primary concern to your organisation.
    • Be in a stronger position in sponsorship negotiations.
    • Recruit new members more easily by offering a recognised brand.
    • Get things done. A more cohesive image could even help with lobbying of politicians, authorities or other leaders.

4. One More Thing

  • The "After" survey.
    • When your new brand has been around for a while, do your "After" survey. Ask:
      • Have we met our goals, or
      • If not, where are we falling short?
      • Simply put - is the brand achieving what you wanted it to do?

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