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Nonprofit Edition: How to Capture Attention with Brand: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Feb 06, 2024

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking how nonprofits can capture attention with brand. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: Nonprofit Edition: How to Capture Attention with Brand

Nonprofits, listen up: brand can be your secret weapon. When you’re so passionate about what you’re doing, it can be easy to forget your nonprofit is still a business. So, how do you capture attention with brand? It comes down to inspiring people to care, cultivating culture, establishing a clear hierarchy to establish partnerships, and creating consistency in communication. It’s your time to create a compelling presence with your nonprofit brand. This episode covers everything from nonprofits to culture. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do nonprofits capture attention with brand?
  • Why does brand inspire people to care?
  • How does brand cultivate culture?
  • Does brand help establish partnerships?
  • How does brand support communication?
  • Why should you consider case studies?
  • How do you find your value proposition?
  • Why are there more and more ads on streaming services?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you miss anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts. I’m Anne Candido.

April Martini 0:32
And I am April Martini.

Anne Candido 0:33
And today we’re going to talk to nonprofits, specifically about how brand can be your secret weapon. So this may be a pretty big hill to climb. We know what the current perception of brand and marketing generated from it can be. So April, what have we heard? I know I’ve heard, I don’t need brand, because my cause carries it.

April Martini 0:51
Or I’ve heard our budgets are so lean, we can’t afford it,

Anne Candido 0:55
or having nice marketing materials sends the wrong message to funding sources. Yeah,

April Martini 0:59
that’s one of my favorites. Yeah. Or we’re just simple, humble people who don’t like to brag, or we

Anne Candido 1:05
don’t want to take advantage of people for our own promotional game. Oh, geez. All right, I’m sure there’s more. And we’re not trying to make fun of the situation. But we do want to bring this up. Because what’s required here is a mindset shift. And we really want people to embrace that. Even though you’re a nonprofit, you are still a business. And it’s just not a for profit one. It doesn’t mean that the power to create a compelling presence, is it really, really useful in order to make your nonprofit stand out in order to be able to disproportionately win favor and resources and all that attention that you’d need mainly people and money in order for your nonprofit to thrive? Yes.

April Martini 1:48
And in case this is your first time listening brand is defined by three foundational questions. Who am I? How am I different? And why do you want me in whether you’re talking in the for profit world to a customer, consumer or client or in the nonprofit world of a potential funding source candidate, partner, volunteer or employee? Answering these questions in a compelling way is critical for surviving and thriving, especially when we know there’s more than 14,000 nonprofit organizations in Cincinnati alone, and 1.9 7 million of them in the US. So just think about those numbers. Any differentiator you can get. You need.

Anne Candido 2:26
Yeah, that probably might be one of the most competitive industries. I don’t know.

April Martini 2:32
When you pull these numbers, I was like, You gotta be kidding. Yeah.

Anne Candido 2:35
Right. Yep. So hopefully, we’ve gotten your attention. And you’re going to be listening and taking some notes and reaching out to us if you want to have more conversation about that. But with that, let’s jump into the Nonprofit Edition of how to capture attention with brand. So first, brand inspires people to care. So let me set this up with a context that’s very familiar for all nonprofits. And that is fundraising. And this is a very unique one for nonprofits. Right? So this might be really hard for a lot of you guys to hear, but the person who cares the most about your cause is you. Yep. Right. And so you might find others who can sympathize with your cause, because they have maybe been touched by it, or they’ve had a family member or friend go through it, or one of those sorts of things. But that’s really more the exception than the rule. And so you want your nonprofit to actually thrive and be able to pull that donorship money that you so need in order for it to thrive. You have to expand why they should care about you to a broader audience, and just people who understand your cause. And when we start to put that in front of people, and especially when we say hey, listen, you know, there’s 14,000 other nonprofits, and there’s a good portion of those who do very similar thing to what you’re doing. A lot of times we hear, but we do it so much better. Yep. Right, which is what we love to hear, because that means that is a conversation about brand. Great. Well, that leads us back then to the questions that April stayed at the beginning. Who are you? How are you different? Why should people want you? And when you answer these questions, you have to do it in a way that actually addresses why that other person would want you. Why did that other person that donor, for example, think you’re different? Why should they care about what your cause is? And how is that going to impact them? Right? So you had to pull these all these things together into these compelling statements into an ultimate choice for why you now once you start doing that, and that’s really where the art is. A lot of people ask us, Well, how do I then do this? How do I think through this? So the first thing you want to really think about is that you need to tell a story. Again, this goes back to the brand fundamentals. Why are you here? What motivated you to start this? What is your purpose, okay? So it is really important to put together that narrative in order to be able to really exemplify that. Next, you want to be able to connect to the emotional payoff for the fundraiser, that is generally rooted in the impact and how it’s benefiting them. Again, there has to be some sort of connection to why they should care. And why they should care is you’re doing something for their world that makes them feel like they’re a better person in some way. It might just be the virtue of the fact that they’re giving you money, but they can give them money to anybody. So what is it about your specific nonprofit, your specific cause, that’s going to make them feel better about the money that they’re actually giving you, then you need to also make a focus, when we tend to hear these narrative narratives from nonprofits, they tend to be very broad. And they also tend to have like what we call the kitchen sink narrative, where it’s like, we put everything in there everything that we do all the reasons why we do it, you have to keep it focused, or else you just dilute the overarching message. And so that’s really, really hard to do. And again, that’s rooted in brand that’s rooted in the brand foundation of, again, those three questions. Why are you here? Why do people want you? How are you different so that is where you start. Now, these clique questions come to light, verbally, what we call the brand, story, brand, character, and tone of voice, those are usually the tools we use. There’s also a visual element with the brand Toolkit, which is logos, fonts, colors, textures, photography, icons, all of those sorts of things. When you put those together, you create that brand Foundation, both from a verbal and visual standpoint, that then creates a resonance for your brand. And if you need more about what those items are, how to actually develop or execute them, we have podcast episodes, I believe on every single one of those as of

April Martini 6:45
now. Right? Pretty sure I know, I was ticking them off, as you said that, but yeah, we do. But back to this point about brand inspiring people to care. I’ll say when we initially make this point, and if you’re feeling this way, right now, people do sometimes give us that skeptical side i and right, you know, it’s like, well, how’s that gonna work? And okay, you know, but we’re trying to be fiscally responsible, we did all the things we talked about at the beginning, right. But when we dive into all the ways that this comes to life, the heads turn the other way as they engage with us. And we know that this can seem daunting over all. And that’s another piece of pushback we give to the point of like, I have a day job, or we already are strapped for resources or all that even if it’s not a money thing, it becomes a time thing. But what we’ll say is that when you take the time to get this right, it really becomes a true differentiator, you’re able to build all the things and talked about about people caring at a deeper, more connected level than just one off, I was connected to this somehow, or I had someone that had this disease or whatever that looks like. But the other thing that it does is that on the back end of building these tools, it makes everything else easier to execute. I know that’s not the point of this one of inspiring to care. But I do think it’s another thing to think about for your internal team is that once you have the tools that an outlined, it makes it easier for your team to create materials that builds the connection with the end consumer or target that your person you’re trying to get money from, quite frankly, in a way that is authentic, because it’s repeatable. And it becomes sort of second nature to the people creating all of those brand execution materials that will live out there in the world. So it’s a bit of a secondary benefit, but it gets you there faster in the long run is what I would say, Yeah,

Anne Candido 8:34
because I think at the end of the day, a donor wants to believe that they’re putting their money in the hands of people who are better with so yes, really do something with it, yes. Which means that you have to establish a level of trust, that you’re going to be able to take these dollars and translate them to some level of change. Yes. And it’s a change that they want to see in the world, in their environment in their town and their local community, whatever that environment or that their scope of reference is. And you have to be able to demonstrate that. So it’s not just the fact that you believe or you’re passionate about something, you have to show that you have the right processes in place, the right tools in place, the right partners in place, that you have the capability in order to be able to realize this and you have hopefully already some element of a track record through case studies through testimonials that demonstrate that you are indeed effective. And hopefully you have some stats that go along with that as well, which is really, really important to be able to showcase the magnitude of what you’re able to accomplish with the money that you’re given. Yes, yeah. All right. So the second point of how to capture attention with brand is a brand cultivates culture. Now it can be difficult to attract top talent because generally nonprofits pay lower and for profit businesses. I mean, it’s just a nature of generally you have to run on leaner and meaner budgets and we get that and actually people that applying for these jobs get that too. And what’s more like, generally, a lot of these nonprofits, we rely on volunteer staffing, we’re not even paying, they just need people to show up. And they need good people to show up who are actually going to do what they need them to go do. So how do you make up for this pay deficit? Generally, it’s through culture, culture can become an equalizer for some who want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and feel like their efforts are making a difference. And for them that it can compensate for a slightly lower amount of pay. But they also know this talent that’s going to come and work for you that it’s not easy working at a nonprofit, I mean, that’s just generally understood. Like I said, there’s a lean and mean team, so they expect it or have to wear many hats. They expect the work to be mentally physically and emotionally draining. I love these causes are that way inherently and then the work on top of that creates even more so, which is why cultivating a culture that attracts and keeps talent and volunteers is so critical. So how do you cultivate culture? Sure, you’re going to be able to answer this question is through brand. And this is really, really, really important point is culture is a manifestation of brand is not the other way around. So there’s tools that we talked about, like your brand story, your brand character, your tone of voice, as well as your mission vision values, they play a really big role in helping them find the parameters. But the key is in the activation, these campaigns be things that you say that you put into a report that you hang on the wall, this means that you have to define the behaviors and actions which are going to shape the culture and then you have to live them. So April, I know you do a lot of this for a lot of our clients. So maybe you can give some examples of what this actually looks like of taking these tools, these branding tools and actually translating them into elements of culture. Yeah,

April Martini 11:49
I mean, and this is a place where historically a lot of teams get really disappointed, because they don’t do anything with these tools. And so this is really, really a critical point, if you want to use them to build culture, you can have the best mission vision values in the world. But if to Anne’s point, they go into report or in industrial, or they’re just posted on the wall, and nobody ever really talks about them, then you’ve completely missed the opportunity to utilize brand strategy to create the culture that you’re looking for. And so one of the things that really is pretty mandatory as part of our processes, yes, you build the mission vision values as part of the strategic tools. But from the very beginning, you’re integrating folks within the teams and key people within the organization in order to build them in a way that’s going to be meaningful for the culture that you’re striving for. So a lot of times we say, you know, and many times it’s not senior leadership, it’s someone that everybody looks to for planning the happy hour on Fridays, or the person that’s always organizing the kickball teams each summer, you know, those types of folks that have a pulse on the really great things that are just organic and inherent in your culture. But even if you don’t have a lot of that stuff, you can build it from the ground up. And so to pair with these tools, we do what’s called a brand activation plan. And honestly, it’s fairly customized by organization because we have to look for the opportunities where it’s going to take hold most naturally. And that really takes an understanding of what culture exists both not good and good, quite frankly, what do you have to counteract? What do you have to build what’s there that we can really leverage and move forward. But it goes back to having a roadmap that lives beyond just a piece of paper that you hand out to people you post in on the wall, or you put in a binder for them, it really has to start to permeate the organization. And so what we say is, as soon as you have this mission vision values, you should be hiring, firing and evaluating on a regular basis with these tools, which means that they really do have to start to live and take hold in the organization. And specific examples of ways to do this are things that we add into those activation plans are, for example, when you roll out the values, you roll them out, and you reward someone in the culture that represents that. And then you repeat that. So every month one of the values is the value and peers nominate the people on their teams. And it doesn’t have to be a huge expense. It can be things like prime parking for a month, or $30, Starbucks gift card and your name on the wall for winning the value at that point in time, right? When I talk about things like hiring and firing, you redo your job descriptions, and you redo your review templates to incorporate the expectations of the type of people that work within the organization based on mission vision values. So if one of your values is all around this idea of being a team player, and you have someone that’s not being a team player, the conversation is to go to them and say this is the expectation of the culture of the organization and you’re being evaluated on this in your review. So either you need to get on board or that’s where the firing conversations start. But you’re looking for ways in which it not surely can be part of the organization, the big win is when people start feeding it back to you, in the words as part of the vernacular of the organization. So one of the really specific examples I give is one of the organizations I worked at one of our values was we’ve got your six, which is a military term, which I never get, right. So I’m not gonna, I’m just gonna stop there. But basically, it means we have your back. And I was exiting a conference room and one of the project managers said to one of the senior account folks, I’m not going to be there tomorrow, can you take on whatever it was? And I heard him say back, yes, I can, because you know, I’ve got your six. And yes, that was said a little bit in jest. But the fact that it came out as a statement of someone from the organization, to me, that’s the ultimate win, because then it means that it has taken hold and is part of the culture in such a way that people are using the words in the mission vision values, again, they’re not just living on the wall, they’re becoming part of that vernacular and the way people talk to each other. So it’s a bit long winded, but you can see you need the plan, and then all the way through to the different ways to execute. And it is different based on each organization, but you’re looking for authenticity and ways to get it to really become part of the culture.

Anne Candido 16:11
Yeah, and I think those are fantastic examples. And I want to just make sure that we route it to in the world of nonprofits, because I think a lot of times when we talk to their nonprofits, they would think that the cause is what orients the culture, right. And this is where you have to get back into the business mindset and realize that your people again, are going to have varying degrees of empathy with your actual cost, aid, and they’re gonna have varying degrees of understanding or familiarity with your cause. Right, so you have to take a little bit of a business lens here and think about what kind of culture you’re creating, from a business standpoint, what kind of places this to work, regardless of what the causes is the same way many people go work for brands that they don’t necessarily use, right. So it’s not about needing to have be passionate about the brand in order to create the culture. And so this the same thing for the nonprofit, you might have people who are not as passionate, maybe they’re not as empathetic, maybe all those sorts of things. I know, it sounds a little bit sacrilegious to say. So you have to create a culture outside of that in a culture just doesn’t happen. I think that’s the other thing that a lot of people think it just kind of is what’s created as a result of the people that come together. But actually to your point APR is exactly right on the culture should be created based on the type of culture you want to create. And then the people are chosen and molded and cultivated, in order to operate within that culture. And it’s really hard I know from a nonprofit, because it’s like, you know, pulling tea, sometimes they get people into your organization. But that doesn’t mean that you should be sacrificing culture in order to go do that, because that will permeate through everything. And for an organization that runs lean to me. And for an organization that needs funding sources in order to thrive and needs partners in order to thrive, you’re not just selling products to consumers and consumers where you can maybe get away with a little bit like that the whole vibe needs to be consistent. If it’s not enough breaks down, then you’re going to struggle in order to be able to differentiate in this world that highly competitive for your nonprofit. Well, I

April Martini 18:25
think two, I would argue that in some ways, nonprofits need brands to assist with culture more than other types of organizations. And what I mean by that is because a lot of nonprofits deal with some pretty hard topics, everything from, you know, second chance in employment after being incarcerated to diseases to, you know, the just the hard parts of life, right. And so you need to fill people’s cup and help them and support them in that way as human beings, which is where culture can really help. Because, you know, I mean, in branding and marketing, I always say we’re not saving lives, right? In some of these nonprofits, we are very much dealing with people’s lives and livelihood. And so it can get heavy and hard. You need the culture to counteract that, or at the very least show people that they’re supported. And it’s recognized that they’re working for something that is difficult, just as a concept or topic or day to day job for them.

Anne Candido 19:29
Yeah, but they’re still appreciated. Respected, treated. Yes. As humans Yeah. in their own right and not made to feel guilty or shamed by that. No, right. Right. Yes. All right. So our third point for nonprofits and how to create and capture attention with brand is brand establishes a clear hierarchy by which to establish partnerships. Now, as we know a nonprofit rarely operates autonomously. So bringing on partners to extend our services. frames and build advocacy is essential. However, it could cause really big problems if those partner brands are stronger than a nonprofit. So even in an umbrella context, if you think about the United Way, and all the brands that the United Way supports United Way can be a really nice umbrella, but sometimes can dwarf the brands that are underneath it and the nonprofit’s underneath it. And it’s harder for the nonprofit than to shine within the context of the broader umbrella. This can happen with other types of partners as well. And when this happens, and when you start to be kind of dwarfed by the bigger partner, or the partner that has a more solid or recognizable brand, it can be harder for you then to get the things that you need, like your resourcing like your talent. And so you have to start to create these brand guidelines and these rules of engagement that help you then to specifically articulate how you’re going to show up in the context with a another partner and brand, make sure that these guidelines and these rules of engagement are rooted in what’s important for your brand, your nonprofit, in order to make sure that it thrives. So for example, prominence of logos and rolls around logo lockups, when you’re partnering with these other organizations, inclusion and prominence and collateral, what are the gonna be the rules around that decision making authority, especially on co sponsored programs and events, who’s talking, who’s presenting, who is going to be hosting, then what is the actual environment looks like you know, all of these sorts of things, the brand becomes a filter by which all of these choices are made and enforced. And it’s super critical to make sure you’re on the same page with your partners. Because I will tell you, especially a stronger brand, will start to kind of take take, take take, and you’re gonna have a really hard time being able to take anything back or actually have an element of presence, because your voice will not be loud enough, your brand will not be strong enough to be able to exert that authority.

April Martini 22:03
It is so interesting, because I think this goes back to the we’re service base, and it shouldn’t matter and some of those push backs that we get, but this is a really real and tangible example and think something we have seen across. I’m like going through my head, like every pretty much every nonprofit that we’ve worked with, because we’re solving this problem of brand, right. But I I think Anna’s point is well taken that it is I would say nearly impossible to go backwards. So once you’ve let yourself be swallowed up by one of the big guys good luck trying to get out from under that. But the other piece of this is it makes it more objective when you have these things in place. So really, really tactically and tangibly. Sometimes, the pure reason that the big guys take over is because they have the system in place. They have a brand, they have the elements. And so I’ve worked with nonprofits before where they’re like, well, we don’t like our logo, and we don’t really have any set colors. And everybody does it differently. So just put whoever’s logo is the big, you know, main group. And over time, that just minimizes so much of your presence and the impact you can have and the ability to stand on your own two feet. And so then to the previous points when you’re trying to get donors or you’re trying to get people to come work for you, the big guys that they know, provide a level of stability and comfortability and awareness and all those things that then you’re not going to have on the other side of this, I have seen smaller groups do a really nice job with their branding. And it becomes such a source of pride for everyone surrounding it, that it takes off in a new and different way. So that regardless of scale of the groups coming together, that brand is a unique differentiator for even the big guys, because it’s so well done. And so I think this one is a really easy one for people to get but a proof point that is really important and comes up regularly with nonprofits because of the point and made about the fact that they’re rarely autonomous. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need their own source of strength in brand to be able to carry the desire to do all the things we’ve talked about so far in this episode and what we’re trying to attract.

Anne Candido 24:28
I think that’s a really fantastic point. And I boil it down to like there is an you have to define with a mutual value proposition is because I think sometimes as a smaller nonprofit, we see an opportunity to partner with a bigger nonprofit and be like, Oh, yes, they have money, they have clout, they have all of these things that I won, they’re going to pull me up and they can do that. That’s why you need partners and as absolutely a strategy that can work. The problem where it breaks down is where a nonprofit feels like They are so much bigger and better. And you know, and they have like all of this and who am I I’m just like this small little like, you know, organization who’s just trying to make it, like April said, like you have a role to play for them or they wouldn’t partner with to begin with. Yep. So find out what that value proposition is, and use it to your advantage in order to establish your identity within this partnership. I know for those who are like what we said in the beginning her like making those excuses, well, we’re just humble, or we’re just here for our cause. And we don’t want to take advantage of our people. Listen, you’re not you’re in a nonprofit, because you’re trying to help people, you’re trying to generate impact by pretending that those people don’t exist, and that that impact isn’t needed, you’re not serving your nonprofit. So I’m pretty sure those people that you’re trying to serve will want you to talk about them to bring awareness to whatever issues that they’re facing to help serve them and other people might be going through the same thing. So you’re gonna have to get over a little bit of that mindset and realize that there is a way of doing it, that is very appropriate, that serves everybody that doesn’t come off is feeling like you’re quote, unquote, taking advantage. And again, when you put yourself in position with a different partner, you can then therefore feel very confident saying, we know we bring this to the table. Yeah. And this has value. And so we want to be able to leverage that in whatever we do. Right? Yes, absolutely. All of that. All right. So our fourth and final point, nonprofit edition, how to capture attention with brand, brand creates consistency and communication that lifts the business. And this is so so important. And this is a very brand fundamental. But it’s something that we don’t see as much in nonprofits, because again, of some of the things that we heard. And the real fundamental truth here is that brand is built from the inside out. So you’re not going to have clear and compelling external communications, if internally, your people aren’t talking consistently about the brand. This is from all aspects of whoever is touching the nonprofit from the people who are working in the front desk to the people who are doing the fundraising to the people who were actually writing the proposals to try to get fundraising to the people who are working with the purchase, all these people need to be talking in a consistent way. Because you need the power of the brand to lift your nonprofit. And you only going to get that if everybody is talking consistently. If people are talking about it very, very differently, it starts to sound very siloed. And in people’s brains, they can’t connect the dots, you need to make it very, very easy to connect the dots. And you do that by using similar language, you get that use that by having key themes by key points that you want people to express. Now, that doesn’t mean that people are gonna be robotic in their storytelling, you’re not giving them a script, per se. But it does mean that everybody has a message track what those key themes, key messages, what is important to say here, and that way, everybody starts to sound like they are talking from the brand voice. Now this message track is anchored in the brand. That’s why this is so fundamentally important. And it ensures that people can firstly internalize what the brand means. And then they are able to put in their own voice or they can articulate in a very natural way that feels that sounds like this coming from them. But again, is consistent with a brand architecture does how you drive consistency. Now, this informs everything. So it’s important all of your external outreach, from marketing materials, to tools to channels, to or your marketing channels, to pitches to talks. And when your brand serves as a creative brief for all of these things, and the execution of these tools becomes much more efficient, which is what you need as a lean and mean team. So that consistently execution also serves like then as a fuel that actually lifts the brand, which makes everything a lot more productive. So this is a very important thing to concentrate on. And it’s a hard thing because it means having to be very clear and focused and selective and the language you want to use. And then you also have to train people, and then you have to reiterate it and you’re gonna get tired of hearing yourself saying it and you’re gonna be tired, like, I want to switch it up. And we can tell you from working in multiple years of advertising, that people who are internal get to pick up their messages a whole lot quicker than people outside, right, they need to hear it multiple times in order for that to actually resonate with them in multiple different places in order for that to resonate. But this is also how you then you create an own your own space, because people are gonna start attributing those things to you, then no one else and that’s how you create that moat. That despite the fact there’s all these other nonprofits with similar causes, people then decide to choose you, you’re inspiring them to choose you, which brings me all the way back up to point number one. Like how that happens, right? Yep. Yeah, I

April Martini 29:55
mean, I preempted this point a little bit before which I’m so good at doing it. get on a roll. And then I forget what’s coming next. But anyway, I think going back to what I said before, it’s consistency and authenticity and ease. And and exactly right, you have to repeat it to the point where like, it just becomes the narrative in people’s heads, right? And yes, we all get tired of that we’re like, wow, I’m even looking at the same fill in the blank photography, iconography, I’ve said the brand story at different ways. But you have to remember that people, new people are coming to you all the time. And in this case, you know, it’s fundraisers, it’s other organizations, you want to partner with its employees, you’re trying to bring to you all of those things. And so the consistent experience through the brand filter, becomes the thing that is the thread that everybody can attach to, because brand is the thing we connect to as human beings, right? It’s that experience that we, we need in order to choose you over someone else, or you can see your differentiation, all those things that we talked about in the three questions we always answer, who am I? How am I different? Why do you want me and this I think sometimes becomes the less sexy part of the process. I think people like you said get tired and are like, Oh my gosh, is it never gonna take hold or you know, are people not hearing me all of those types of things, but what we will say is that it does take time to take hold, but then it does become like a muscle that you can just flex. And then there’s this always this moment in time where all of a sudden, everything is working beautifully together. Like we had a client recently say their RFP process was broken because they were recreating the wheel of their story. And all these tools, we talked about every single time for all of the businesses under their umbrella. And so we created these tools, and we had a period of time where it was a little bit difficult. And people had opinions and they wanted to push back and all of this right. And then we hit this magical period where all of a sudden, all we kept hearing was, oh my gosh, the RFPs are so easy to do. I mean, we just use the same template. I mean, it just comes out like in so many less hours, I don’t have to ask as many people, I don’t want to track stuff down, right, that’s the piece that you want to get to. And that’s the beauty of what can happen. And then, as far as you know what other people need to hear. I mean, we used to use the stat that it took seven to 10 times for a message to break through to people. I mean, I’ve heard 10 times that. And now with the number of messages we receive each day, I’m sure the truth of the number somewhere in the middle. But the point here is that you also have to think about how many times it takes for people to notice you above everything else they hear in a day, not just the other nonprofits that they potentially have to choose from. And so reiterating that message in a clear and consistent way that makes it easier for them to understand is this point here, and it helps to build that relationship at that deeper level. And helps them want to be part of you or be attracted to you or whatever, depending on what their role is within your organization.

Anne Candido 33:00
Yeah, and I think the name of the game here is efficiency and productivity. I mean, yes, your lean and mean team, we’ve said it a gazillion times. And I’ll close it out with that thought too, that when you have these tools, it becomes a process for then just using the tools. Yeah. So when somebody is creating, like you just said, April, another RFP, or in your case, it may be another proposal for funding or grants. Another like addressing whatever those documents are, or those marketing materials are, you can live from the brand story, you can lift from the message track, and people are not trying to recreate it every single time they go and you’re trying to do some sort of report or they’re trying to do some sort of yearly urine review or whatever you use those things. And then yes, people are gonna be like, Yeah, I’ve seen that I’ve seen that I’ve seen it, which is good that you want them to see it, see it, see it, and they want them to be able to internalize and you want them to be able to articulate it. Because it becomes then natural, like you said, just muscle memory. And that’s where your productivity comes to. And that’s where you can then drive efficiency not only in the time you’re spending on these things, but then also in the amount of money you’re spending on these things when you have these tools, and you can just give them to people and say here’s our tools create something from this, right. Absolutely. All right, so that was a lot. Switching gears switching gears. Next section that we always like to talk about is a marketing smarts moment. This is a brand that we’ve noticed that’s either using their marketing smart or not. It may or may not have anything to do with this episode and mine does not always find it a challenge to try to link it back to our topic, but I’m going to struggle with that. So mine is a more theme that I am seeing and that is that streaming services are starting to really capitalize on adds up who didn’t see this coming. Yes. So very interesting because you know, if you listen to if I’m just Gonna pick on Netflix for a second. And you talk and you listen to Reed Hastings, you listen to the conception of Netflix, and what’s new Netflix so successful? And when nice, he was asked the question about, well, what if people share their logins? You know, is that a big deal? And he was like, No, I want people to share it had helps to populate the actual streaming service. And then we’re able to get revenue through all these other different streams. And so it just makes us more popular. And that helps to serve the brand overall. I’m paraphrasing. Yeah, great general idea. That’s the general like assessment from him. So I find it very interesting that what like, were 15 years later, maybe now we’re reverting back all the way the other way where we’re trying to avoid people sharing so that we can actually get the revenue, but the way that we’re punishing people is by making it TV. Yeah. So I’m finding this very odd and very, like, it’s a little surreal. It is very surreal. And it’s very, almost like meta, where you’re kind of like, we develop this in order to differentiate from TV. But now we’re basically acting like TV, but we want you to pay your way out of actually the ads. And so what you used to pay now you get ads. So now pay, you know, a huge premium more not to get ads, which by the way, the podcasting services are doing that too. We’re not doing that, guys, but that’s happening as well. Yep. I mean, I just don’t get in. And I feel like now, I mean, because there’s so many to that. I’m not exactly sure if it’s going to fulfill what they’re looking for, or it’s going to be a self fulfilling prophecy of just people are like, well, if this is the way it’s going to be, I might as well just go back to TV. I know. It’s crazy. It’s right. Am I just I’ll just record all my shows. And I’ll fast forward through the commercials like I used to, before we had the streaming service, because I’ll tell you now, because there’s so many choices now too, and there’s so much crap on these streaming services, even trying to find something. If you’re just looking for something to watch like channel surfing, it’s very difficult. I get so frustrated with the fact like totally legally, what about this? What about that? Like, no, no, no, no, no, like, 10 minutes just trying to find something. Watch. I’m like, You know what, I’m done. Just turn on TV. I’m like, I can’t I can’t even do that anymore. Yep. So unless I’m going there to watch something specific that somebody actually told me about. I mean, it’s such a harrowing experience anyway. And now I have to watch ads on top of

April Martini 37:28
the top of it. I know. I know. It’s completely nuts. I mean, I was thinking about this. I forget I was listening to I think it was Arnold Schwarzenegger book. And he brought up the whole like Blockbuster Netflix like, and so I kind of went down a similar path, which is why I chuckled when I saw this as your example. But I’m like, man talk about stuff coming full circle. It’s like because I mean, I was talking about this the other day, like we have YouTube TV now, instead of cable so that we can watch the gate whatever games are on. Right? Yeah. And it’s astronomically more expensive, though. Yeah, Netflix and Hulu and whatever. And, yes, there are ads, which I think we pay for the one where we don’t have them or something. But anyway, I was just starting to add up then the costs because your other point about how many there are. And so I’m like, I basically got to the point where you are on the I’ll just get back to TV because I’m exhausted from trying to find something of I’m pretty sure it’d be cheaper if we just got cable. Whereas we all switched to streaming services before because we were like,

Anne Candido 38:25
Oh my gosh, it’s so much cheaper. And they have things on there that I want to watch. Now, and now they’re just streaming TV. Yes. Oh, shows. Yeah. And I’m like, I’m like a little losing life. Lost. Yeah. Yep. And yeah, so I’m like, Why do I need you again? Now? Amazon Prime I get you get prime? Yeah. You know, so that’s a little different.

April Martini 38:45
It’s an added benefit. Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Anne Candido 38:48
So that one you’re willing to tolerate but like Netflix, Disney+, and like, all these sorts of things. And I think the thing that’s really starting to irritate is you can’t figure out what streaming service you need to watch the sky. Now watch. I know. I mean, now with like sports, being on different streaming services, like one of the playoff games is on peacock exclusively. Right. So what’s that going to mean? When it comes to live sports? I mean, it’s gonna be very interesting to see blackout, like when you remember. Yeah. When the stadium and yeah, if you didn’t sell enough tickets locally, you couldn’t watch the game. I mean, it’s going to be very, very interesting to see how this all resolves itself, because I feel like now there’s too many choices. You’re not differentiated enough. So maybe that’s the connection back to the nonprofit. Oh, no, no, no, we’re not doing that. Now, the whole brand thing I mean, so they’re oriented and brand where you know, okay, let me ask for a little bit more of a stretch, but I had at least try. So I think that that is something that the streaming service will really have to consider is, well, who are they trying to serve again? And are they really truly serving them in a way that is going to justifiably make this something that’s viable or not. And I’m not so sure it’s going to Well, I think it’s the identity crisis thing. It’s just become so fragmented in so many ways, like the other thing that I was thinking as you were talking is, the beauty used to be the whole season would come out of whatever show right now. Now, so many of them are like, we have to wait till next week to see the next one. And I’m like, again, like we’re mirroring TV. I pay for this so that I can watch it all at one time. So it’s like they’re grappling with their own identities. And then I’m sure how to compete against each other and what the right thing is to do. And now they’re all talking to themselves, which means we’re all unhappy on the consumer side. Yeah, because they don’t want you to buy for a month and then watch your show. And then camps cancel, which is what we do on Disney. Which is why now they do it on a week or, like, half the season and then six months. Laters Yeah,

April Martini 40:46
I don’t remember the first half it I know. We could go on and on. Yeah, because Alright, so I think we do an episode on this. It could be

Anne Candido 40:55
a really interesting one. All right. So to recap the Nonprofit Edition: How to capture attention with brand. Brand inspires people to care. This is especially important for fundraising when it’s so important to compellingly answer the questions Who Am I? Why am I different? And why do you want me? Brand cultivates culture, culture can be a great equalizer when trying to attack top talent brand defines culture as a reminder, brand establishes a clear hierarchy by which to establish partnerships, a nonprofit rarely operates autonomously bringing on partners to extend their service offerings and build advocacy is essential. Rules of Engagement need to be defined based on what is important for the brand and the brand. Being a nonprofit. Brand creates consistency and communication that lifts the business brand is built from the inside out consistent communication creates fuel for your brand, and helps you establish a presence as both authentic and differentiated. And with that, we’ll say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts!

April Martini 41:48
Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!