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6 Steps to Creating an Identity

No brand is complete without a memorable image. Can you imagine the Prevent Wildfires campaign with Smokey the Bear? How about those anti-crime ads without Scruff McGruff?

Every nonprofit marketer’s dream is to create a brand image that is as memorable as that but, as Philip Kotler and Nancy Lee wrote in “Marketing in the Public Sector,” organizations should dial down the ambition when beginning this process. The two marketing experts instead urged marketer to follow six steps to create your brand’s identity:

  • Establish Brand Purpose: Make sure the marketing objectives of your brand are related to influencing people to support your organization, participate in your programs, utilize your services, and/or comply with guidelines and laws.
  • Identify Target Audiences for the Brand: Although many people in the general public will be exposed to your brand, it should be designed with specific groups of people in mind.
  • Articulate Your Desired Brand Identity: This is your chance to envision how you hope target audiences will respond. Try filling in the following sentence to help determine your answer: “I want my target audience to see my brand as ______.”
  • Craft the Brand Promise: Focus on benefits for your target audience, not your agency, ones they are likely to experience if they engage in the desired behavior.
  • Determine the Brand’s Position Relative to the Competition: Challenge yourself to first identify competition, direct as well as indirect.
  • Select Brand Elements: What name, slogan, logo, and colors will be associated with the brand? 

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