By Deroy Peraza, Partner at Hyperakt
How effective is your nonprofit’s brand, really? Does it unify your team? Does it distinguish you from other organizations in your space? Does it amplify your impact in the world? If you were to give it a grade or a score, where would you even begin to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses?
Measuring a brand’s effectiveness is a really fuzzy thing. We can track website engagement through analytics and look at attendance figures and donations to gauge whether your latest fundraising event was successful. But a brand is difficult to quantify.
After years of working with leading nonprofit organizations, we’ve introduced a tool to do just that. Our Nonprofit Brand Score simply and quickly measures a brand’s effectiveness. It helps nonprofit marketers and their colleagues clearly visualize how the brand measures across four performance dimensions so you can understand specifically what is and isn’t working.
The murky waters of brand performance
Brand effectiveness historically has been tough to get our heads around in part because many people in the nonprofit space don’t understand what a brand really is. Which means that organizations often don’t recognize the hidden costs associated with an underperforming brand.
Your brand is more than a logo; it’s a tool you can use to increase your impact, raise funds, win over hearts and minds, coalesce your team and their work into a more cohesive whole, and advance your mission.
It’s also hard to measure because we don’t have a common language to talk about brand. Conversations quickly become subjective — “I hate purple,” “make the logo bigger” — and often dominated by a single person’s point of view.
A new way to measure your brand
Hyperakt’s Nonprofit Brand Score is our response to this challenge. We invite you to give it a try on your own right now and experience it for yourself — it’s just 16 questions and will take 5–7 minutes to complete. We’ll share your results right away.
As you’ll see, the test is designed to gather concrete feedback on how your brand is performing in the real world across four key attributes:
Clarity — is the brand expressed consistently and clearly to everyone? Is it easy for your team to explain your purpose and your work?
Resonance — does everyone understand the organization’s purpose and, more important, do they share a common belief in the organization and what it stands for?
Distinctiveness — does the brand help the organization stand apart from peers and competitors? Does it express your uniqueness and relevance?
Influence — does the brand inspire trust, enabling your organization to reach its highest potential for impact?
How do your people feel about your brand?
Now that you’ve experienced it for yourself, imagine if we could give this to everyone on your team and you could get a comprehensive score with a layer of qualitative analysis that interprets how powerful your brand is.
Imagine how much it would help you to capture and document how people feel about the brand in a concrete way. How powerfully you could demonstrate the need to your leadership team and board for doing needed work on your brand because you have solid evidence of its effectiveness, or lack thereof. How you could educate your team about what branding is, and why a strong brand is important and worth the investment. How you could build a business case and secure funding for a rebrand.
Our Brand Discovery process, which we offer both as a standalone service and as part of all rebranding projects, does just this. We’ll administer the Nonprofit Brand Score throughout your staff and key stakeholders like frequent donors and partners. This gives everyone a voice on how well your brand is performing today, and will yield a quantitative benchmark of your brand’s performance.
We then complement the test with a qualitative survey, a verbal and visual brand assessment, and a competitor assessment done by our branding experts. This allows us to have a comprehensive view of your brand - from the inside and the outside. You’ll get a brand assessment at the end that will give a comprehensive look at your brand’s clarity, resonance, distinctiveness and influence.
Diagnosing the problems you’re trying to solve for your brand is a critical step before identifying opportunities for solutions. For nonprofit marketing leaders, the Brand Discovery process brings clear insight to replace that vague sense that something isn’t working with the brand. It invites input from across the organization, giving everyone a shared vocabulary to think and talk about the brand in concrete ways. The Nonprofit Brand Score is both an education tool about what the brand should do and a validation tool to help you align your team around the organization’s need for a stronger brand. It yields actionable, objective, practical, relevant feedback that addresses the function of a brand in common, lay terms.
Get your free Nonprofit Brand Score right now to gauge your own personal assessment of your brand’s performance. If you’d like to explore conducting the test with your full team to get a clearer sense of your brand’s health, let’s talk about whether our Brand Discovery process is right for you.