Building Your Brand Points the Way for Nonprofit Organizations
Levy achieves this by answering eight essential brand questions, moving from basic to advanced:
Many nonprofits have historically underinvested in branding work, and if you are one of them, you may have some catching up to do. And if your strategy has recently changed, or if quick conversations with board and staff about your organization reveal markedly different perspectives, or if your materials look like they come from separate organizations, you may need to invest further.
Levy points the way. Her brand definition highlights four foundational elements (core messages; visual identity; brand behaviors; integrated plan) that are detailed in subsequent chapters. She tells us why branding matters (focus; efficiency; clarity; impact; and momentum) in case board members need a gentle reminder.
She maps out action steps, discussion guides, and templates. Concepts are made real through actual cases drawn from her consulting career.
The tone of the book is conversational ” as if the author is talking you through something new, with the attitude of a caring and knowledgeable coach. Shell say, One of the questions I often ask is...,” and I for one feel confident that shes seen far worse that what I have in mind, and can take me far further than I can imagine.
Personally, Im a fan of graphic templates, which embed intelligence into a simple yet powerful framework that I can use to be smarter than I really am. Levy has handy templates for an audience message matrix and a brand hierarchy, among others. Shes also got a sample Table of Content for a brand book, and a marketing and communications plan. These help me organize the materials I have, and know what gaps I need to fill.
Seasoned marketing professionals can use this book to start a conversation with staff leadership and board members. Newcomers to marketing can use this book to properly frame the conversation, and gain the confidence to move it forward. As an organizational development consultant who helps organizations create strategic plans that often recommend greater brand awareness, I recommend this book to my clients.
Building Your Brand - A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations is available from Amazon.
Reviewed by Jay Vogt, president of Peoplesworth and author of Recharge Your Team: The Grounded Visioning Approach, and Board Roles to Board Goals: Creating an Annual Board Workplan.