Artículos en Inglés
Let’s Talk About Social Branding
Translated/Edited by Diego Gasteazoro/Alexander Coen
Every single day, different kinds of brands are born: commercial, corporate, retail, virtual, generic, governmental, and non-profit brands among others. Each and every one of them has a niche to fulfill which allows it to properly integrate itself and sell its product and/or services successfully in the real world. But what if a brand doesn’t sell products or provide services? What strategy should that brand follow?
A brand that “sells” a social cause faces a great deal of challenges; not only does it have to convince consumers to support its cause, but it also competes against other social phenomena of equal importance. However, as we have expressed in earlier articles, if a brand–no matter its nature–can find a unique competitive advantage, it can find a place in the hearts of its users.
In this manner, a non-governmental organization (NGO) must follow a Branding strategy, or brand construction, known as Non-Profit Branding, somewhat following this schema:
- The cause. Identify it, study it, love it. An organization that has a clear objective in this world will have all possibilities to win its target audience’s sympathy.
- Mission, Vision, and Values. The brand’s raison d’être, its ten and fifty year vision, and finally, its values and beliefs that will determine the behavior of the entire organization.
- The name. Once all of the above have been defined and settled, the social brand should choose the name that suits it best. It should be brief, easy to pronounce, and impactful.
- A logo. One that reflects the identity defined in the first stages of the brand strategy.
- The discourse. Essentially, it’s the creed the organization will “marry” for eternity. It allows understanding of what can and cannot be said. It’s timeless and, most of the time, it’s unchangeable.
- The spokesperson/s. A powerful speech needs to be delivered by a person capable of extraordinary persuasion and communication. If we have both, we have a winner.
- Identify the competition. As weird as it may seem, social brands also have competitors who go after the general society’s attention. It’s very important to know the competition and even to stay close to them.
- Finally, perhaps one of the most important aspects for any non-profit organization in search of a brand is communication. An adequate strategy and the best use of the media may guarantee solid footing. Public relations and social media are key components of this strategy.
Definitely, NGO brands need to create a strategy from a human, ethical and social perspective, as well as from a marketing point of view. They must be able to become part of the public’s conversation, not only to stand out, but also to achieve the impact needed to gain loyalty and promote change.