Is your nonprofit ready for a rebrand? This isn’t always an easy question to answer, so our Director of Brand Strategy, Dave Barbush, put together a guide for your nonprofit to use when considering whether or not it’s time for a rebrand.
There are a variety of reasons for a nonprofit to be interested in a branding update, and to start looking for an agency that specializes in branding for nonprofits. Time passing is the biggest reason that comes to mind. It can feel like your brand is the lobster in a pot of water coming to boil. Time marched on, and your brand remained stagnant, while your environment changed completely. Then all of the sudden, you realize you’re not who you used to be.
Lets take a look at 5 signs that signal your readiness for a rebrand!
One: You Can’t Pass The Bar – Your Website Still Rocks a Sidebar on Your Homepage
Modern sites are simpler to navigate, cleaner-looking (meaning lots of white space), and designed as full-width. That means the side bar (usually located on the right, but can sometimes be seen on the left) is still a part of your user experience. Chances are, if you haven’t updated your site to match current trends, then your brand hasn’t been updated either.
This becomes the perfect win/win for your nonprofit. Updating your site always comes with some rebranding elements. Do this quick check: if your site looks out of date, look at your logo and see if it seems just as dated.
Two: Your Shoes Don’t Fit Anymore – Your Nonprofit has Grown Up
What used to be your bread and butter is now just one of the many services you offer. Staff may be complaining that parking is more limited, and folding chairs might be in high demand.
For example, one nonprofit we worked with used to help individuals experiencing homelessness by collecting old t-shirts and remaking them into clothing and accessories for sale. That was 10 years ago. Now they make and sell all kinds of accessories like earrings and headbands. Currently, the sales from retreaded t-shirts only make up a fraction of their income.
Take a look at what you do, and whether you’ve captured the real you in your brand.
Three: Musical Boardroom Chairs – Three New Executive Directors & 20 New Board Members
Branding equates to vision, and every organization’s vision comes from the top. Since they are ultimately responsible for the direction and the success of the nonprofit, the Executive Director deserves to have their vision fulfilled during their tenure. Despite the Board process being what it is, every Executive Director is liable for the success or failure under their guidance. Give them a branding exercise from a qualified branding agency. No matter what the deliverables are, or how much is ultimately approved or enabled, their vision will at least be crystallized and the brand can be given the chance to reflect that new direction.
Four: Your Logo and Tagline Don’t Convey Your Uniqueness
Just like your website, your logo and tagline don’t usually age well. But don’t take that too hard – most don’t. Color preferences change over time, and what looks good in a printed format doesn’t always work so well in a digital format. The reverse is even more likely. Today’s color palettes reflect the times and the times change fast these days.
Your tagline should say what you do and how you do it in a special way. As you find your way towards those profit centers that sustain your growth, your top level branding almost never stays in step.
Five: You’ve Been Scooped – The Competition is Killing It (And You)
No brand lives in a vacuum and no brand has zero competition. If you’ve done a competitive landscape study recently and saw that one or two of your fellow nonprofits in the same sector have rebranded, you should too. Having a modern site with a concise, relevant brand makes donors and supporters more likely to give to them, rather than to you.
Even if your competition hasn’t yet rebranded, you need to go off the assumption that a rebrand is coming. Beat your competition to the punch, and get started asap.
Rebrand The Cause Inspired Way
We use time-tested and approved branding techniques for a variety of our clients. We’ve rebranded nationally-known powerhouse brands and start-up mom and pops. No matter the size, the process remains consistent. Research gets the ball rolling, and we keep the momentum going by delivering your new brand within weeks of when we started. Most brands inevitably get expressed in the form of a new website. Our process makes that seamless, efficient, and highly-effective.