04 — We will build and nurture our brand
We acknowledge that undervaluing our brand and message only holds us back from our true impact potential. We will no longer consider building our brand as secondary to our core work but realize it must be consistently nurtured with proper care and attention.
Brand building is core to your success in the information era. The word “brand” might feel awkward or dissonant with how you think about your organization. Aren’t brands for consumer companies driven by profits?
Building a brand is more than just having a name, logo, and colors that you apply to physical and digital applications (although that part is important, too). As described in the second proclamation, brand building starts with finding your niche, but it also means having a strong mission, vision, and values that guide your strategy and decisions from the highest level down to the details.
Building a brand also means crafting a narrative that articulates your higher purpose, establishes your voice, and invites value-aligned people to join the conversation.
Then your brand becomes a vessel for all future interactions with your audience, your stakeholders, and your internal team. Every choice you make, every action you take, and every interaction with your organization either reinforces or contradicts your brand.
Smart organizations know that building and protecting their brand and reputation with their community is critical to their success.
People ignore or forget organizations all the time. They become die-hard supporters of the brands they believe in.
And they will share and advocate for your brand — but only if you build one that’s worth their time and attention.
The pre-information-era charity undervalues the importance of brand building. Future-thinking social impact leaders know that their brand is a living entity formed by a clear mission and distinct values, which must be nurtured and protected through clear and consistent choices and actions in the real world.