Is Your Non-Profit Brand Still Relevant?
Non-profit organization should have a brand that illustrates clearly what their business is all about. As Certified Brand Strategist, Christine Tieri explains it, the brand should be the stake in the ground that is easy to stand behind. But this does not mean that a brand that once perfectly represented a company will be as cohesive, in ten years. Times are always changing, and especially with the emergence of technology, there has been drastic change of culture, taste, and buying habits. With all these changes coming about, it is likely that what your company was doing ten years ago is different from the work being done today. With these rapid changes, it is easy to overlook your brand. It’s crucial for non-profits to adjust the relevancy of their brand.
For example, everyone knows the YMCA, the Young Men’s Christian Association, which has been around for over 160 years. In fact, this brand became a song, by the Village People, in 1978. The YMCA was a strong brand for a long period of time, but even they eventually had to adjust their brand to stay up to date with the times. In 2010, they decided to change their name to just “the Y” in an attempt to become warmer, more genuine, and more welcoming, according to Kate Coleman their senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Everyone was already calling them the Y, so it seemed worthwhile to adopt the nickname and expand their reach from just Christian men which their original brand limited them to.
The YMCA was a household brand and was chanted at every sporting event around the country, yet it was time for an update. Many non-profits are in the same boat – a great organization which does great work and has great values, but has a brand that is drifting toward irrelevance – these non-profits need to consider the rebranding process. An outdated brand fails to send a strong message and is likely to get lost within the sea of non-profits that currently exist in the United States.
CEO of Rehabilitative Resources Inc, Mike Hyland, came to us with an outdated brand that was no longer differentiating themselves. After working with us, Venture Community Services was born and gave the 40-year old organization a fresh start. Immediately, Hyland was seeing the results that the rebranding brought to his organization. In his testimonial video, he says, “They are seeing us now as a company that is not in the woods anymore. A company that can be brought in various discussions for partnerships and resource sharing.”