What does “rebranding” really include?
This piece was originally published on July 30, 2014.
Branding livestock with a rancher’s unique mark to distinguish them from other ranchers’ stock was common practice long ago. Perhaps that’s why up until quite recently, people thought of rebranding as just a logo change. Although few of us have ranching experience, the term ‘branding’ has taken root and been adopted by individuals and organizations alike.
Today, “rebranding” is more commonly defined as a change in both visual and written elements; a bit more expansive than your logo, but still very much about the elements you use to communicate with external audiences. But your visuals and messaging—for instance, your name, logo, and tagline—are only as powerful as the strategy that drives them, the ways you communicate them, your ability to truly live them authentically, and how they are perceived.
Branding is about changing perception and growing reputation; often from the inside out. Deep shifts in how people work, organizational culture, and more might be in order.
To determine what rebranding really means for your nonprofit, you first need to agree on the model you’ll find most useful. And, in recent years, many different models have emerged to help businesses understand and change how they communicate in more sophisticated ways. Study branding and you’ll hear terms like “brand essence” or “brand connector” bandied about.
Big Duck coined the term “brandraising” (yes, we’ve created our own snappy branding model, too) to describe something larger and more holistic. Brandraising is a communications framework that begins with a nonprofit’s vision, mission, and values, and threads its way through everything the organization does, internally and externally, to reach the people necessary to fundraise, run programs, advocate, and more. (For more about brandraising, read the book, watch this free webinar, or visit this page to see how we approach it for our clients.)
Download The Rebrand Effect, an e-book derived from our national study of the impact rebranding has on nonprofits, for more ways to define branding and, more importantly, its true benefits. Let me know what you think!