The Brand IDEA - Nathalie Laidler-Kylander - ebook

The Brand IDEA ebook

Nathalie Laidler-Kylander

169,99 zł


Offering a new framework for nonprofit brand management, this book presents The Brand IDEA (Integrity, Democracy, and Affinity). The framework eschews traditional, outdated brand tenets of control and competition largely adopted from the private sector, in favor of a strategic approach centered on the mission and based on a participatory process, shared values, and the development of key partnerships. The results are nonprofit brands that create organizational cohesion and generate trust in order to build capacity and drive social impact. The book explores in detail how nonprofit organizations worldwide are developing and implementing new ways of thinking about and managing their organizational brands.

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Table of Contents

Praise for The BrandIDEA

Title page

Copyright page

List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits

Foreword by Christopher Stone, president, Open Society Foundations


Purpose and Intent

Summary of Contents

How to Use This Book

PART 1: Context, Concepts, and Building Blocks

CHAPTER 1: What Is Driving the Paradigm Shift and Brand IDEA Framework

Background and Context

A Paradigm Shift and Brand Management Mindset

Introduction to the Brand IDEA

Being in the Zeitgeist


CHAPTER 2: What Is a Brand Anyway, and Why Should You Manage It?

What Is a Brand?

What a Brand Does

Key Differences Between For-Profits and Nonprofits

Traditional For-Profit Brand Management

The Lack of Brand Management in Nonprofits

How Does the Brand IDEA Differ from Traditional For-Profit Brand Management Models?

Brand Equity


CHAPTER 3: What You Need to Know: Reviewing the Building Blocks of Brand

Differentiation and Positioning

Interrelation of Brand, Positioning, and Differentiation

Theories of Change

Internal Branding


CHAPTER 4: Why the Skeptics Have It Wrong: Understanding the Role and Benefits of Brand

Skepticism of Brand and Brand Management

Revisiting the Paradigm Shift

The Role of Brand Cycle


PART 2: Getting the Brand IDEA

CHAPTER 5: Brand Integrity

Brand Identity

Embedding Identity Within Strategy

Aligning Identity with Mission

Aligning Identity with Values

Brand Image

Addressing Multiple Audiences

Aligning Brand Identity and Brand Image

Using Brand Integrity to Support Decision Making

Challenges of Integrity


CHAPTER 6: Brand Democracy

Implementing a Participative Process

Empowering Brand Ambassadors

Using Guiding Principles Versus Strict Controls

Challenges of Democracy


CHAPTER 7: Brand Affinity

The Drivers of Brand Affinity

Characteristics of Brand Affinity

Types of Brand Affinity Partnerships

Sources of Success for Brand Affinity

An Open-Source and Flexible Approach to the Use of Brand Assets

Challenges of Brand Affinity


PART 3: Putting the Brand IDEA into Action

CHAPTER 8: Implementing the Brand IDEA: What to Do and How to Do It

Implement Brand Integrity Through Brand Democracy

Create Affinity for Greater Impact

Measuring the Impact of Branding Activities and Return on Brand Investment

Organizational Cohesion, Capacity, and Impact

External Trust


CHAPTER 9: The Brand IDEA in Specific Situations

Brand Management in Different Situations

Brand Management for Different Structures

Managing Brands at Different Stages of the Organizational Life Cycle


Conclusion: You Can Do It!

Using the Brand IDEA

Using Brand IDEA by Function

Concluding Thoughts


Individuals Interviewed and Organizations Cited



The Authors



Praise for The BrandIDEA

“The Brand IDEA is an insightful articulation of the centrality of brand and brand management in the nonprofit sector. Any organization that depends on partnerships, stakeholders, governments, employees, donors or any other type of relationship, should manage its brand proactively. The Brand IDEA is a much-needed and valuable resource for all who work in the nonprofit sector.”

—Rob Garris, managing director, Rockefeller Foundation

“Strategic and thoughtful, this work establishes a provocative branding framework for nonprofit organizations in a challenging social media world. It makes the powerful case, and offers a clear road map, for identity alignment that is stakeholder-centered and mission-driven.”

—Ray Offenheiser, president, Oxfam America

“Rich with examples from a multitude of nonprofit organizations, the authors make a profound case for why brand is integrally linked with the nonprofit mission. Turn to Chapter 8 for practical tools to build a strong brand and manage your brand integrity, democracy and affinity (IDEA) on behalf of your organization. It's an important resource for any nonprofit manager.”

—Tanya Giovacchini, partner, chief engagement and marketing officer, The Bridgespan Group

For more testimonials and information visit

Cover design by Michael Cook

Cover image by © Vladgrin/iStockphoto

Cover image by © Edge69/iStockphoto

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Laidler-Kylander, Nathalie.

The brand IDEA : managing nonprofit brands with integrity, democracy, and affinity / Nathalie Laidler-Kylander, Julia Shepard Stenzel. —First edition.

pages cm

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-118-55583-5 (cloth); ISBN 978-1-118-57330-3 (ebk); ISBN 978-1-118-57340-2 (ebk)

1. Nonprofit organizations—Management. 2. Nonprofit organizations—Marketing. I. Stenzel, Julia Shepard. II. Title.

HD62.6.L35 2013



List of Figures, Tables, and Exhibits

Figure 1.1:Key Trends Impacting Nonprofit BrandsTable 1.1:The Nonprofit Brand Paradigm ShiftTable 1.2:Principles of the Brand IDEA FrameworkFigure 2.1:Differences Between For-Profit Brand Management and the Brand IDEAFigure 3.1:Sample Perceptual Positioning MapFigure 3.2:The Impact of Differentiation and Positioning on Competition and Duplication in the Nonprofit SectorFigure 3.3:The Building Blocks of Nonprofit Brand and the Brand IDEA FrameworkFigure 4.1:The Role of Brand CycleFigure 8.1:Interrelationship of Brand Integrity, Brand Democracy, and Brand AffinityTable 8.1:Conduct Research and AssessmentsTable 8.2:Drive AlignmentTable 8.3:Support Brand AmbassadorsTable 8.4:Create Affinity for ImpactExhibit 8.1:  Measuring Cohesion and EffectivenessExhibit 8.2:Measuring External Trust and Capacity


This book stands at the intersection of several debates animating the nonprofit sector around the world. Among them: should nonprofit organizations spend precious charitable funds on managing their brands, or are those expenses wasteful vanity? Does the rise of social media mean that everyone must be allowed to speak for an organization in his or her own way, or does it make policing the brand more important than ever? Is nonprofit strategy fundamentally distinct from for-profit strategy, or is that distinction out-of-date? To all three questions, this book answers yes to the initial proposition: nonprofits should invest in their brand, abandon the notion of policing their brand, and question the assumptions underlying for-profit strategy tools before applying them to their organization. Agree or not, you will quickly see that much more is at stake here than an organization's name, logo, or even communications strategy. This book goes to the very essence of what defines a nonprofit organization.

For the purposes of this brief foreword, the brand of a nonprofit might be roughly defined as the mental impression people have of the organization: the promises it makes to its clients, collaborators, or supporters and their expectations about the quality of work or the experience it provides. Those promises and expectations are evoked by the names, logos, slogans, and other communication devices used by organizations, movements, and individuals—for example, political candidates—to differentiate themselves from others. Such outward manifestations of brand are now visible in practically every inhabited place and communication vehicle on the planet.

Nonprofit organizations have typically considered their brands—if they have done so at all—as fundraising or public relations devices to help attract supporters and donors. But a nonprofit's brand is something more than an eye-catching lure. A brand is also a powerful expression of an organization's mission and values as well as a reflection of the commitment, pride, and passion its workers and collaborators have in the organization. This power makes it a matter of pride for some people to say, “I work for Doctors Without Borders,” to become a member of Amnesty International, to hang a Sierra Club calendar over their desk, or to retweet an alert from Greenpeace. This power makes a nonprofit organization's brand a critical tool for clarifying its unique voice, message, and role. More, this power can help an organization engineer collaborations and partnerships that will better enable it to fulfill its mission and deepen its impact. For these reasons, the brand of a nonprofit organization is a strategic asset central to the success of the organization itself.

The brands of nonprofit organizations play distinctive roles different from the brands of commercial enterprises. These differences relate to the different balance of competition and collaboration in the nonprofit and private sectors, and they relate as well to the multiplicity of value propositions, irreducible to a single monetary metric, that a nonprofit must advance with multiple audiences.

Brand management across the nonprofit sector is becoming more sophisticated, but this does not mean that it has to be expensive. Rather, it requires an organization's willingness to embrace and adopt new thinking about the development and management of a brand and to allocate time and effort to discussing its brand both internally among its workers and collaborators and externally among its outside partners and supporters. Brand communications have less to do with the outward projection of a controlled image and more to do with establishing such a dialogue: a process of participatory and authentic engagement in both the development and the communication of the organization's identity and image. Responsibility for an organization's brand should, therefore, not reside solely within its marketing, communications, or development departments; it should reside principally with an organization's executive team and board. Defining and nurturing the brand should fit within the job description of every person working for an organization. And efforts to define and nurture an organization's brand should involve its supporters and benefactors as they work on the organization's behalf as advocates and ambassadors.

The brand IDEA framework presented in this book is designed to help nonprofit organizations develop and manage their brands in a way that will serve their mission while remaining true to their values and culture. The framework fits within the participatory paradigm described earlier, and it leverages opportunities made available by today's rapidly changing technological and media environment. Founded on three principles—integrity, democracy, and affinity—that produce the acronym IDEA, the framework is both a diagnostic tool for determining whether an organization is managing its brand effectively and a prescriptive model to guide organizations in their brand management efforts.

The framework can help an established organization identify possible problems with a brand. It can help an organization decide whether rebranding is needed. It can be deployed to help clarify an organization's core strategy. Examples provided in the text show how some organizations have approached and used the brand IDEA framework and how an organization operates and appears when it is managing its brand effectively.

If emerging theories and current trends of nonprofit management are any indication, these organizations will increasingly pursue their missions relying on fluid teams and networks in which access to information, assets, and responsibility will be widely shared. As this reality develops, the nonprofit brand IDEA is an essential tool for nonprofit managers.

Christopher Stone

president, Open Society Foundations


This book is the result of more than two years of research and collaborative effort, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, to examine the role of brand in the nonprofit sector. It is also the culmination of a decade of our own work looking into how nonprofit organizations build and manage their brands. Initially inspired by an Edelman study in 2002 which suggested that nonprofit organizations comprise the world's most trusted brands, we started on a journey to try to understand how these powerful nonprofit brands were being built and managed, and how this differed, if at all, from their commercial private sector counterparts.

In 2010, the Rockefeller Foundation recognized that brand management in the nonprofit sector and interest in nonprofit brands were at a tipping point. They also realized that nonprofit organizations often had to rely on tools designed for the private sector to manage their brands. The goal of initiating research on the role of brand in the nonprofit sector was to better understand how nonprofit organizations might more effectively use and manage their brand to achieve social impact.

We originally published our findings in an article in the Spring 2012 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) called “The Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector” (Kylander and Stone, 2012). The central organizing framework in the article and carried forward into this book is the brand IDEA, which stands for the related concepts of brand ntegrity, brand mocracy, and brand ffinity. Our initial framework also included brand Ethics as a key component of the model, but our understanding of the brand IDEA has continued to evolve, and brand Ethics has been integrated into the broader concept of brand Integrity.

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