Brand-Aid: What’s a brand platform? Why bother?

February 4, 2015

Guest Blog by Susan Hughes, Principal, Orgonomic, Associate Member of Maryland Nonprofits

Stay tuned! Susan Hughes will be leading a Maryland Nonprofits workshop on branding this fall!

Read the original blog here.

Brand vs. Brand Platform
Your brand is the sum total of what people think, believe, and feel about your organization. To some degree this can’t be controlled – people will believe what they want based on many factors.

Your brand platform is a document that articulates precisely who you are, why you exist, and what you do. This is much more granular than a mission statement. Your brand platform is your vision (your pie in the sky dream for a better world), your mission (your slice of that pie). It’s also your core values as an organization; how you are positioned in your market; your brand’s personality; what makes you different and special in your field; what you promise to accomplish; and even your brand’s tone of voice.

Are you bold, excited, and determined or compassionate, gentle, and a good friend?

I’ve facilitated many brand platform sessions and I love to witness the passion that people have for their organization being injected into the DNA of their brand. Without this kind of attention that passion is easily glossed over and even lost in communications. Your brand platform helps you to communicate your organization’s genuine passion and purpose with clarity, consistency, and personality. It’s an exercise well worth doing.

While I recommend developing a brand platform (and it is never too late to do so), I don’t recommend that you do it yourself. It’s a “can’t see the forest for the trees” issue. It takes an outsider – someone without attachments, biases, and a personal agenda – to facilitate the process and help you to gather, condense, distill, clarify, refine, summarize, and package your brand so you can stand-out, delight, and connect.

Be amazing.
Give people something exciting to talk about.
Watch them spread the word.

In the meantime, check out some simple strategies to improve the look of your brand today.


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