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New logos vs. true rebranding

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Katya Andresen

A lot of energy goes into “rebranding” efforts, and not all that energy is going into the right place.

Before you “rebrand,” make sure you have identified the right problem to solve, and if rebranding is the solution to that problem, then do true “rebranding,” rather than simply changing your look with a new logo, organization name or website.

If you have an aging or dwindling donor base, problems articulating your unique value proposition or lackluster campaign results, you need more than cosmetics to change those facts.

As they say where I grew up, you can put lipstick on a pig, but that’s not going to make you want to kiss it.

As a branding friend says: “Most people see communications as the sun and branding as an outlying planet, but branding should be the center of the marketing solar system.  Your brand is about how you stand out, build relationships, win loyalty and inspire action.”

That stand-out part has to be about more than color schemes.  Your organization’s whole programmatic approach – not just marketing – should reflect what your audience wants, what you’re good at, and what you do better than anyone else.  That’s what makes your nonprofit strong – and your brand a standout.

And if you are redoing your logo, which is something you should only do if it’s in conflict with the essence of your brand, as far as I’m concerned, don’t choose clasped hands.  It’s been done already!


Katya Andresen is vice president of marketing for Network for Good.

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