Last week the actress Emilia Clarke, famous for roles such as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones, launched a new charity, SameYou for brain injury recovery.
Why, with a plethora of charities all vying for our emotions (and wallets), would this stand out and cut through?
Firstly it’s a distinctive brand that conveys a strong emotional proposition: for people recovering from brain injury. But critically the brand is rooted in an authentic story of Emilia’s own highly personal experience. If you haven’t already read it head over to the The New Yorker and discover her incredibly moving story.
The charity name ‘SameYou’ echoes the purpose of the brand – the need to feel the same person you were before the injury. We are delighted to have worked with Emilia on the development of the brand, including the name, identity, website and social media.
It also gives lie to a persistent myth that brands are only for products and that for certain types of businesses or areas of organisational activity, brands are not relevant or necessary at all. In fact, as we explain in our latest book Myths of Branding, we have yet to find any sector in which an organisation didn’t need a brand to help it achieve its objectives.
A brand is what your name represents in the mind of your customer, employee, donor, sponsor or anyone else whose opinion about you counts. And that is true in whatever market you operate. Charities understand that they are in a highly competitive market – in fact one of the most competitive there is, that of the human conscience. They have to fight for awareness and emotional relevance to ensure that people are prepared to give them the money they need for their good works.
Oxfam underwent a major rebranding exercise globally in the late 1990s, bringing all its various subsidiary and affiliated organisations in different countries (which often had different names and logos) under a single Oxfam name and a new highly distinctive logo that could be recognised anywhere in the world as a symbol even where the Roman alphabet letters of Oxfam were incomprehensible. WWF similarly focused on a global brand with imaginative global campaigns such as its annual Earth Hour where all round the world, people are encouraged to turn off the electricity for an hour to dramatise the amount of energy we are consuming and the consequent pressure we are putting on our planets resources.
“A brand is what your name represents in the mind of your customer, employee, donor, sponsor or anyone else whose opinion about you counts.”The best Charity brands use the power of emotional storytelling to motivate us to change something even if all we can do is give a small amount of money. They are relentlessly consistent in their presentation and presence in order to remind us of the urgency of their cause. They recruit and inspire employees and volunteers. They protect the space in our consciences that they earn through distinctive trademarks. And they evolve what they do to remain relevant to their purpose and to people.
So long as we live in an imperfect world, where illness, poverty, social injustice, inhumanity or environmental threats exist, we will need Charities. And so long as Charities exist, they will need to build strong brands. Just like Emilia is doing with Same You. Please support her here.[starbox]
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