Your board doesn’t need to like your new brand
Brandraising is a long, and sometimes painful, process. It starts with a lot of research and ends, hopefully, with the launch of a new identity that is embraced wholeheartedly by your community. What role does your board of directors play in this process? Do they need to like your new brand in order to move forward?
Board buy-in is certainly key to the success of your new brand; after all, the board members are your lead brand ambassadors. But do they need to like it? No! The questions they need to answer “yes” to are these: Does the new brand reflect the state of your organization and position you for future growth? Does it speak to your constituents? Does it support the communication of your key messages?
Think of your new brand like a new outfit. In the past, you wore sleeveless dresses to your job. But you have gained experience and are ready to advance in your career to a more corporate position. You realize you need to dress the part so off to the mall you go. You take a look at the suits and they don’t look good on the hanger. You try them on and they are a little uncomfortable. But you realize that you need to dress in a way that represents who you have become and positions you for career growth. You realize that wearing a suit reflects these needs so you buy a couple and start wearing them to work. In a short time, you realize that your appearance now represents who you are, supports your key messages about your experience and expertise, and puts you in a position to work towards your career goals.
How can you help your Board understand this concept? After Big Duck laid the framework through the research and evidence they presented to our board, we at The Marfan Foundation were able to take ownership and “sell” the brand, starting with our board of directors. I found one-on-one presentations, in person when possible, the most effective for this continued education about branding and the discussion of our new brand. I did this several months prior to our brand launch to give our board members time to learn, absorb, and ask questions before we expected them to own it and champion it to our constituents.
Change is hard, but if you’ve done it right, your board will understand, embrace, and champion your new brand as you need them to do for a successful launch to your community. As one of our members said, the new brand is “an evolution, not a revolution.” It was probably one of the best comments I heard as we gave our board members and a few other VIPs the inside track on the new brand.
And, as many members realized when we launched our new brand at our annual family conference in August, it doesn’t matter if they like the brand or not. What is important is if they can own the brand and embrace it. So when asked: will it help us create a brighter future for everyone living with Marfan syndrome and related disorders? The overwhelming response was a resounding “yes!”
Eileen Masciale is the Consulting Director of Communications for The Marfan Foundation, a nonprofit that fights for victory over Marfan syndrome and related disorders. Marfan syndrome is a life-threatening genetic disorder that most seriously affects the heart, blood vessels, and eyes so we do everything possible, including research, advocacy, and education, to make sure people can live longer, fuller lives.