Why You Need a Tidy Brand February 21, 2017 Lately we have been (a little bit) obsessed with the concept of a tidy brand. We are convinced that a tidy brand is a springboard to fundraising, membership, and admissions success. Why? Because your audience needs to understand who you are before they can decide whether to join or support your organization. That goes triple for school, college, or university admissions. Let’s start at the beginning. Your brand is a concept. It is who you are at your core. It’s not your logo, your mascot, your colors, or your tagline. Those are expressions of your brand. Your brand doesn’t really change over time. How you express it might change, but who your organization is at its core does not. A tidy brand is a description of a cleanly expressed brand. A tidy brand has defined ways of being expressed. An untidy brand is the opposite. It may have many logos, or variations of logos, as an example. Or perhaps no one tied to the organization talks about it in the same way. Do you have a consistent message about who your organization is, what it does, and why? We know how an untidy brand happens and we see it all the time. Is your brand closet a jumble? Think of your brand expression as a closet. Is the logo hanging neatly from a hanger, with the spirit logo or the crest hanging crisply nearby? Or does your organization have three or four logos jammed into an overstuffed closet, with some elements slipping off their hangers and a few discarded items heaped in a pile on the floor below? Be honest: is your brand closet tidy or is it a jumble? Just like with your clothes closet, you can’t keep stuffing your brand closet with items until no room remains. You have to be able to easily and quickly find what you need, pull it out, and put it to use. Even more importantly, others need access to your brand closet too. Your organization’s leadership, key volunteers, and board members are using your brand. They need clarity around which logo to use when, and how to use it. They need clear messaging. Board members need to know how to talk about your organization, whether at a formal presentation or in the grocery store. No one will use the exact same phrasing, but they need consistent key messages that they can say in their own words. If your leadership, staff, volunteers, members, and board have consistent messaging, they will be relieved to have that tool and will thank you for it. We know this to be true. How does a brand become untidy? Typically, the jumble is created over time when nothing is ever discarded. When everyone and anyone can add their own items. Usually the organization lacks a brand manager or brand steward. No one is guarding the henhouse. A brand without borders is an untidy brand. Don’t be afraid to steward your brand. Comments are closed here.