As we enter the second month of 2016, it’s important to make sure your organization’s brand is in order. An effective brand means that everyone in the organization is using cohesive messaging. Here are some tips from one of Spitfire’s branding gurus, Phoebe Kilgour, on what constitutes an effective brand.
What can organizations do to make sure they are speaking in one cohesive voice?
PK: Every organization should have cohesive messaging that tells the story of who the organization is, what they do, why their work matters and what their vision for the future is. This foundational messaging doesn’t have to be memorized for verbatim use, but the values and core components it reflects should form the basis for all external communication. This will help ensure that the organization has a strong and easy to recognize voice.
How can organizations be consistent in their branding?
PK: While organizations often pay careful attention to branding in their written materials – tools like their website and one-pagers – day-to-day verbal communication often falls through the cracks. Every member of your team – from your executive director to your accountant – is a brand ambassador. To ensure consistency, confirm that each member of your team is familiar with your foundational messaging and is comfortable using it.
What are some things organizations can do right away to start the year off strong?
PK: The beginning of the year is a great time to make sure your brand is clear. Check with your team to see which collateral materials they use most. Maybe it’s a fact sheet that hasn’t been updated with your most recent success stories or a news story from when George Bush was president. Assign a member of your staff to check these most-used materials to make sure they reflect your current brand and update them as needed.
Lastly, make sure to check out the Spitfire SmartScan, (spitfiresmartscan.org) a free online tool that asks you a series of questions about your organization’s current practices and helps you figure out where your organization is poised to be a communication powerhouse and where it has room to improve!