Friday, March 22, 2013

IS LOSING YOUR HISTORY WORTH IT?

Don’t ditch your history for a new look

I recently met with a not for profit to discuss their social media, fundraising and marketing strategy. They asked me; “what is your opinion of our new brand/look?” It was completed over a year ago but it was my first opportunity to give an opinion.

They were not prepared for my response

I advised them of the following;

1. I had to Google you to find out who you were.


They had changed their name to an acronym and although when I looked it up it did make sense, they had not invested in marketing the change so consumers and supporters would make the connection.

2. Your new brand is clean, but it doesn’t really say anything about what the organization does or who it represents.


It was a bright, clean and snappy new look, colourful and trendy but, it actually did not tell a story or paint a picture about the organisation’s past, purpose or vision.
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"In the end, it's not the years in your life
that count. It's the life in your years".
- Abraham Lincoln
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Don’t ditch it, bring it with you

To freshen up your corporate image is a necessary thing to do from time to time.

But be careful when hiring ad agencies to bring you a new look for your brand. Be sure that you don’t get caught up in the excitement of bright colours and modernisation. Bring your rich history that made your organisation who and what it is today with you into the now and the future.

Sacrificing your organisations history for a trendy new look could cost you dearly unless you are prepared to invest in re branding your new look. 
 Let your past flow into your present and future
It is important to bring the past with you when creating a new look for your brand. Especially in the not for profit sector.
Your history shaped your organisation, it was most likely filled with struggle, amazing individuals fought for your organisations very existence because they believed in what they were doing. They wanted to make a difference to the lives of those in your  cause and you need to bring that effort and accomplishment with you.

If your cause, the lifeblood of your service cannot be seen easily in your brand and recognised for it’s contribution to building a fair and supported society for the people you represent, then what good is a brand at all?
Build a bridge that allows the history that defines what your organisation stands for to ensure it comes with you into the future. Your supporters and those that your organisation cares for will come with you too.

The not for profit I am working with is experiencing the after effect of not bringing it’s wonderful history forward in it’s new brand. The impact is wide reaching. The community at large seems to have forgotten who they are in this highly competitive charitable landscape. I recall the messages of their past, they were emotive, courageous and uplifting but I was unable to link them to the now when I looked at their new brand.
Let your champions of the past shine into your future.

If you do not consider this, you may find that the struggles your organisation went through in the past to achieve the recognition and support required to deliver to the community may be relived. Don’t start again, carry forward all that you have achieved in your past to ensure that your new look or brand will prosper for your cause.
By Gail Worthington-Eyre
                                                                                                                                                 

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