4 Elements of a Memorable Nonprofit Brand Experience

When someone sees your nonprofit’s logo, his or her last experience with your organization immediately floats to mind. That experience, and especially how your supporter perceives it, is the sum of your nonprofit brand.

Constituents can connect and commit to your organization when your nonprofit constructs a positive brand experience. On the other hand, a nonprofit branding plan that’s haphazard and ho-hum will only deliver a detached audience.

Initiate a more strategic branding plan now by reviewing our four ideas for creating a memorable brand experience.

Have We Met Before?

Going home at the end of a long workday is relaxing in part because you’re finally in your own space. It’s familiar, so it feels good to be there. Likewise, experiencing your nonprofit brand will feel good when it feels familiar.

Cultivate feelings of familiarity among your nonprofit audience so they enjoy every brand experience. Start with consistent messaging then take it one step further with longtime volunteers and donors. Try assigning a different staff member to each constituent so they talk to the same person in every interaction with your nonprofit. Their individual relationship will make your brand feel friendlier and more accessible.

You and I

Relationships between consistent contacts and constituents will also build a more personal nonprofit brand. And a personal nonprofit brand experience is a memorable nonprofit brand experience.

Don’t let any opportunity for personalization escape your branding strategy. For donors, a personalized brand experience means always using their name—appeals beginning with “Dear Friend” have no place in your plan. Highly personalized thank-you messages are a must.

Please and Thank You

Speaking of thank-you messages, every constituent ought to enjoy an overwhelming feeling of being appreciated after every interaction with your nonprofit.

Imbue every aspect of your brand experience with gratitude. Thank donors promptly and be gracious with volunteers and staff.

Positive Positioning

Your nonprofit audience can’t help it. Their feelings about you are informed by their state of mind when they experience your brand. Suppose supporters donate during a crisis situation. To offset the fear or panic they may feel, emphasize your nonprofit mission in the interaction. Your mission can make its way into conversations with supporters, and you point out how they contributed to it when you call to thank donors.

Infusing your brand with positivity, even when the situation is negative, will help constituents feel optimistic about their partnership with you.

You likely noticed that the center of inspirational nonprofit branding is experience. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” As you refine your nonprofit branding strategy, remember that the magic of a memorable brand is in the way it makes constituents feel.

How do you make your nonprofit branding more memorable?


Jill Havlat

May 22, 2012

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