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Brand Development Archive

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Article

Why Branding & Design Agencies Should Ask Why

We have a lot of clients who come to us with clearly defined priorities for their branding and design projects. Often they’ve identified their problems and the solutions—they’re looking for a partner to simply execute their vision. We think as an agency, we sell our…

Article

Some of our Favorite Moments from ComNet18

Let’s go back in time to Monday October, 8th—the Monday before ComNet18. Just as Lexie and Senongo were putting their finishing touches on our pre-conference workshop, the plans for our trip seemed as up in the air as ever. Workers at the Westin San Francisco—the…

Webinar

Designing for Online Engagement: How to Build a Better Site with Brand Strategy

Does your organization’s website paint an accurate picture of who you are, what you do, and the values you stand for? Available to nearly anyone at anytime, websites play a pivotal role in how effectively nonprofits are engaging audiences and turning that engagement into action.…

Article

What are the Benefits of Internal Branding for Nonprofits?

In a previous insight on the importance of internal branding for nonprofits, I explained that “brands are created from the inside-out.” While it’s essential to drive external branding with a well-designed strategy, it’s also important to use that strategy “to focus your mission and cultivate…

Article

Why Brand Strategy is So Important To Website Design

Imagine you hear about a really interesting social impact organization that sounds like it’s doing important work in an area you have a lot of interest in. You’re immediately curious and want to know more. What’s one of the first things you do? Head right…

Article

Engage From the Inside! How Internal Branding Strengthens Nonprofits

Imagine you work at a nonprofit or a foundation with a decent-sized staff (a few dozen to as many as a hundred employees). It might be a national research institute or a local community development organization. It has several departments focused on different issues or…

Article

Nonprofit Brand Strategy: Breaking Through the B.S.

When I tell people I work on nonprofit brand strategy, I get a lot of blank stares and raised eyebrows. I get it: brand strategy is a bit of a buzzword these days and it’s not exactly easy to define or understand. Adding to the confusion, there’s…

Webinar

Engage, Persuade, Motivate! Maximizing Impact With Digital Content

Today’s digital landscape is crippling our ability to focus, with people’s average attention span now shorter than a goldfish’s. We also spend over 10 hours a day consuming content from digital screens. Add it up, and our understanding of the world and our connections to it are significantly…

Webinar

Nonprofit Branding in the Digital Age

You work at a foundation or a nonprofit. At many orgs, this belief persists: we don’t have a brand, we have a mission! Yeah, ok. That’s true. Now, let’s be real, your organization has a brand. And that’s a good thing. Here’s why—unlike most for-profit companies,…

Article

Designing Brand Experiences for Social Impact

It takes great focus and clarity for brands to rise above the din of the crowd and be heard in today’s information-saturated world. And for social change organizations, the challenge is even greater. Because when the message is about a better future, possibly somewhere far…

Article

5 Things to Do Before Issuing an RFP: Advice From a Former Nonprofit Leader

In my former life (B.C., or “Before Constructive”), I ran a nonprofit in New Zealand that raised awareness and funds for cancer research. Like a lot of nonprofit leaders, I wore many hats and had a wide scope of responsibilities, including the organization’s communication strategy and a…

Article

Design Vendors Are Destroying Nonprofit Organizations!

ven·dor /ˈvendər,ˈvenˌdôr’/ Noun a person or company offering something for sale, especially a trader in the street. a person or company whose principal product lines are office supplies and equipment. Synonyms: retailer, seller, dealer, trader, purveyor, storekeeper, shopkeeper, merchant, salesperson, supplier, peddler, hawker; scalper, huckster,…

Article

How to Translate Brand Strategy Into an Effective Website

In my last article, I noted that the best place to start when developing a website is with a clear brand strategy. It is what provides the shared understanding needed to unite the big ideas and day-to-day details of a nonprofit’s activities into a cohesive online experience.…

Article

How Brand Strategy Improves the Website Design Process

For many organizations, a website is the biggest window into their work and values, helping their supporters and other audiences understand what the organization believes in and stands for, what it does, and why its work matters. In many cases, it also is a critical…

Article

6 Ways to Use Behavioral Science to Strengthen Your Brand

In my last article, I discussed behavioral science and its application to marketing strategies. Here at the studio, we’ve increasingly been applying teachings in behavioral science to inform our decision-making on everything from visual design to messaging and technology. Below, I’ve pulled together 6 practical ways…

Article

Effective Brand Management – Tools and Techniques that Get Results

Brand Managers are essential to the health of any organization, and they have a number of responsibilities. As strategists, they plan brand experiences and nurture audience connections. As evaluators, they decide what brand elements will be elevated and developed. As designers, they help craft a…

Article

7 Ways to Strengthen Your Communications in 2016 (And Why They’ll Work!)

For anyone in the position of examining their organization’s communications and business strategies, a new year means shoring up plans and budgets in support of ambitious organizational goals. Every new year presents us with the opportunity to build on successes from the year prior, and…

Article

How Nonprofit Branding Increases Social Impact

Seeking new ways to increase their impact, leading nonprofits increasingly are taking a broader view of the strategic role their brand can play in driving long-term social change. In this new view, a nonprofit’s brand is much more than a tool for communications or fundraising.…

Article

The 6 Keys to Effective Nonprofit Branding

It used to be that nonprofits shied away from prioritizing their brands. However, over the last 10 years or so, nonprofits are becoming increasingly aware of the link between a brand’s strategic value and organizational impact. One reason for this shift, I suspect, is that competition…

Article

How Nonprofits & Design Firms Collaborate to Change the World

Nonprofits bring passion, dedication, and expertise to the often complex problems they are trying to solve. Design firms bring a similar passion, dedication, and expertise to the work of designing experiences. While the specifics of what we do and the way we do it may…

Article

5 Key Benefits of Designing a Consistent Nonprofit Brand

Cockroaches. They make us nervous, we don’t know what to expect from them, we stand semi-frozen waiting to see what direction they’ll dart off in next. But what do cockroaches have to do with design and branding? To me, inconsistent brands are like cockroaches. Because…

Article

The Benefits of Integrating Branding & Web Design

I recently completed brand strategy for The Pratt Center for Community Development, helping them articulate their mission, values, theory of change, differentiators; and finding ways to communicate their work and impact. A website redesignwas a core part of the engagement, and once brand strategy was complete, it was…

Article

How Brand Strategy Leads to More Effective Website Design

If you’re a business or nonprofit engaging in a website redesign, you’ve probably prioritized a list of specific things you’d like addressed–from a dated design that’s gotten embarrassing to making it easier for people to find things, or a content management system that actually works…

Article

Show Your Nonprofit’s Brand a Little Love!

The value of a brand is directly proportionate to the success of the organization behind it. So, given its importance, why do so many nonprofits find it hard to focus on developing a strong brand? The stronger the brand, the greater the appeal, the greater…

Article

5 Ways Brand Design Systems Create Business Value

For nonprofits or businesses considering a rebranding, a big question for those not familiar with this process is how to quantify the value vs the investment. One way to ensure branding efforts build sustainable business value it is to approach branding as a systems-based approach…

Article

Windows 8: Brand Identity Crisis Edition

Since images of the new and improved Windows 8 logo were leaked in a post last week by the folks at BrandNew, the web has been abuzz with reactions to the new look. Microsoft and Pentagram have issued official statements on the design, and while public opinion has varied, the…

Article

Stepping Back From Komen’s Brand Disaster

Now that the dust has settled on the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s disastrous and embarrassing handling of their partnership with Planned Parenthood, it’s a good time to take a step back and understand how an organization that does so much right could have gotten this…

Article

The Fundamentals of Developing a Strong Brand

Like many branding and design firms, we’re often contacted to help clients solve an acute tactical problem they’ve rightly identified in their business communications. A website or application may not “look good” or may have serious usability issues. The company’s logo may be projecting the…

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