Branding is the sharpest tool you have to attract and keep members. But it’s also a way to realize your organization’s purpose by building recognition and trust. There’s no question about it: if you want to grow your member-driven organization, you need to invest in branding.
Deciding what branding efforts to pursue — and when — isn’t easy. Should you start with a website rebuild? A microsite for an upcoming campaign? Or should you start with something much smaller, like a presentation template? Of course, budget plays an important role in your branding plan. But so do your CEO and board members. It all adds up to a lot of pressure to get it right — the first time.
You’ve got to identify your most pressing problems and opportunities so you know which solutions to prioritize. That requires beginning your branding work with an expert analysis of your current brand ecosystem.
Partnering with an agency specializing in member-driven organizations can give you the truth about your current branding efforts. You’ll get the benefit of unbiased expertise, which will help minimize the risk of future bad brand investments. Plus, a thorough analysis can assure your resources will be used to maximize positive impact on your organization and your members.
3 Brand Investment Mistakes Organizations Make
Organizations never want to make bad investments, yet it happens all the time. A poor choice can do more than derail your branding plan; it can harm your organization’s reputation. And when you don’t have an unlimited budget, it might be years before you can make another significant investment.
There are three ways organizations like yours can make mistakes with their brand investments.
1. Setting the Wrong Budget
Sometimes the approved budget doesn’t support the real investment that’s required to produce results. It can take months to secure a branding budget. If the budget isn’t adequate, you might be tempted to settle for cheap solutions.
2. Miscalculating the Timeline
It’s not just the budget that can cause problems; timelines can, too. For example, you may discover you actually need a new messaging platform before the website rebuild you mapped out. Your timeline could potentially double! And, of course, reworking your entire proposed timeline negatively affects your carefully laid plans, and relationships with others in your organization.
3. Carrying Out the Wrong Solution
Budget and time pressure can lead to choosing solutions that are cheaper and faster — which may not be solutions at all. All elements of your brand interact and build on top of each other, so one incorrect decision will have a ripple effect.
It’s also all too easy to prioritize the wrong element. You may believe website redesign should be your priority, but the truth is that you need a brand identity redesign first. Your organization could spend time and money on a solution that doesn’t get you the results you hope for.
Begin With an Objective Evaluation Before Making Investments
Avoiding the common mistakes starts with clearly evaluating the current state of your brand. An outside partner like Position can precisely diagnose issues and build a personalized brand plan to ensure your investment is a good one. And that begins with an audit of the totality of your organization’s current brand positioning and ecosystem. After all, accurately mapping the way forward requires knowing your starting point.
Discover Where to Maximize Impact By Auditing Your Current Brand Ecosystem
Current Brand Positioning
We’ll start by asking these broad questions about your brand positioning:
- What is the purpose of your organization?
- Who does your organization serve and what are their needs?
- Where is your organization going?
The way we gather and analyze positioning information helps us understand your organization’s underlying challenges and opportunities.
Current Brand Ecosystem
Auditing your brand ecosystem is a rigorous process. We will detail what components are present and whether or not they are in alignment with your organizational mission and identity.
We will evaluate your organization’s:
- Resources (budgets, board, staff, vendors, and volunteers)
- Brand system and collateral
- Digital platforms
- Current and past campaigns and initiatives
- Current and past strategic marketing plans
- Demographics research
- Current vendor relationships and contracts
- Sponsor contracts
- Member benefits
Once we understand your past and current state of affairs, member personas, and organizational goals, then we can help prescribe the right solutions.
Formulate a Custom-Built Plan of Action
Auditing your brand positioning and ecosystem provides time for us to collaborate with you. We’ll gain understanding of your challenges as you see them, and share our understanding of your challenges as we see them. Together, we will prioritize the items in your custom plan of action to maximize your budget and potential impact.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each membership organization has unique priorities, and each marketing director comes with their own expertise. Even though membership organizations are all different, you can rely on the stability of our experience. You won’t have to wonder — or wrongfully assume — cost, timeline, or optimal order of projects.
Naturally, needs differ from organization to organization, but the following serve as examples of potential plans of action. We might:
- Redesign your member onboarding process.
- Rework and strengthen your messaging platform to amplify all other brand efforts.
- Redirect resources allocated to a new website feature to curation of a robust email newsletter.
- Create a sponsor deck to help you raise money for an important initiative.
- Prioritize rebranding events before building a website.
Leaning on our expertise in robust brand ecosystems will align/enhance your marketing efforts to maximize results. Our objective report and detailed, custom strategy illuminates the right path forward. You can get it right the first time and avoid additional costs for re-dos and rebuilds.
Brand change requires wise use of your resources. But most importantly, it requires a willingness to review, reflect, and listen to sound advice. If you’re ready to make the right investments to serve your members better and attract more prospects, let’s talk.