Do you send a clear message?
When someone does not connect with a brand, product or organization, they are not as likely to buy (into) it. Lack of connection can also lead to product confusion. This is why some companies try to create a similar name (or logo) as a famous brand. This is also why trademark and copyright lawyers are very busy!
I have a funny story about my own brand confusion. I recently moved to the Midtown community of Atlanta, GA. I got confused with 2 different services for the Midtown community. I am familiar with Midtown Blue, a community public safety force, which is a group of off-duty police officers who provide additional security. I have also recently been hearing a lot about Midtown Alliance, whose mission is to improve and sustain the quality of life for those who live, work and play in Midtown. I got them confused. Last week, an opportunity presented itself to call for the help of the friendly officers of Midtown Blue. There was an alarm box (for the whole building) that was beeping in my apartment complex. Not an emergency, but a perfect reason to call Midtown Blue. I realized that I had mistakenly called Midtown Alliance (thinking it was Midtown Blue) when the confused woman on the phone wondered how she could help fix a broken alarm system. She clarified for me the difference and I now know that Midtown Blue is a service of Midtown Alliance, but that they provide different services. Easy mistake to make (that’s the story I’m going with!). I will not get confused again.
I have also heard of other people getting some local nonprofit organizations confused. They may figure it out eventually, but this is telling. If someone does not immediately recall your organization’s name, the population that/who you serve and your mission, are you marketing yourself properly? If people are not identifying you accurately, they are most likely not connecting with you. If they are not connecting with you, they are most likely not going to give their time, money and energy to your cause.
It is important to send a clear message of who you are, what you do and what you want to accomplish. What impact do you plan on making in the population you serve, in the communities that you serve and in the greater world? Make sure that this is clear in your mission statement as well as your vision statement. Make sure that they are separate. And definitely make sure that everyone connected with your organization can recite both!
I am Jeanne Ward. I am a nonprofit management consultant. I work with nonprofit organizations to help them with the foundational structure of their organization so that they can move from their mission to their vision and do what’s important. I want to help nonprofit organizations monitor their outcomes to show their impact! I eventually want nonprofits to connect with for profits to make a greater impact on the world. Who are you? Who is your organization?
Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art