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Why Good Branding Matters for Community Organisations

This blog post is a quick guide on the importance of strong branding for community organisations. It explains that branding is how people see and remember an organisation. When branding is clear and consistent, it helps people connect with the organisation. The post answers common questions about creating a brand, like having a clear message and using it consistently. It also mentions considering the unique values and cultures of Māori and Pasifika communities in branding.

Why Branding Matters

Kia ora and welcome to your quick branding know-how guide.

We know it might not sound like the most exciting topic, but trust us - good branding can make a world of difference for your community organisation.

In this post, we'll be diving into 

  1. Why strong and cohesive branding is so important, 
  2. Answering some FAQs you might have about creating a new brand or rebranding, and 
  3. Highlighting the unique considerations for Māori and Pasifika communities.

The Importance of Strong and Cohesive Branding

First of all, let's define what we mean by "branding". Your organisation's brand is essentially its identity - it's 

  • how people perceive you, 
  • how they interact with you, and 
  • how they talk about you. 

Strong & Cohesive

When your branding is strong and cohesive, it creates a clear and consistent message that helps people remember who you are and what you do. On the other hand, if your branding is weak or inconsistent, it can confuse people and make it harder for them to connect with you.

But why does this matter? Well, think about it this way: there are likely a lot of community organisations out there that are doing similar work to yours. You might all be competing for funding, or partnerships, volunteers, or media attention. 

If your branding stands out from the rest and makes a positive impression on people, you're more likely to get noticed and achieve your goals. Plus, having a strong brand can build trust and loyalty among your existing whānau, partners and other organisations supporters, making them more likely to stick with you long-term.

First impressions carry tremendous weight, for the face of your organisation is not merely a visual representation but a reflection of your organisation's core values and principles.

FAQs About Creating a New Brand or Rebranding

Now that you understand why good branding matters, you might be wondering how to go about creating or improving your own brand. Here are some common questions we hear from community organisations:

How do I come up with a strong brand message?

Your brand message should be clear, concise, and memorable. It should communicate 

  • who you are, 
  • what you do, and 
  • why it matters

 - all in just a few words. 

One way to start crafting your brand message is to think about your organisations unique strengths and values. 

  • What sets you apart from other organisations? 
  • What do you stand for? 

Use these ideas as the foundation for your brand message.

Once you have created a strong brand message, it's important to know how to use it effectively. Start by using your brand message consistently across all your communication channels, like your website, social media, and emails, so that people remember and recognise your brand.

Make sure your visual design, like your logo and colors, match your brand message too. Encourage your team members to share and represent your brand message when they talk to others.

How do I come up with an impactful visual identity?

When it comes to incorporating your ethos, services and brand messaging into your visual identity, it’s advised to select only one or two of your strongest USP’s. It can be tempting to want to include everything you have to offer within your logo, however this can become convoluted and unmemorable – and what’s more, it can box you into specifics, rather than leaving you open for expansion and growth.

Communicating one or two pillars of what makes your organisation unique helps create a definitive and timeless brand identity with a confident and solid foundation. Over time, your logo will go on to represent all that you do through building audience interactions, the results your services or products offer, and marketing – but it’s with a simple, key graphic or word mark that will lead that charge

How can I make sure my branding is consistent across all channels?

Consistency is key when it comes to branding. You want people to recognise your organisation whether they're visiting your website, reading a brochure, or seeing a social media post. To achieve this, create a style guide that outlines your brand colours, fonts, logos, and imagery. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands and follows these guidelines whenever they create something with your brand on it.

It’s often helpful to delegate a team member as the key brand ambassador within your organisation. This brand ambassador can be the final check-point to ensure any material your team produces is up to standard and remains consistent).

Also another good idea is to have all of your logo files in one place for easy access. A google drive with access permission is a great example of this. When you make it easy for selected team members to access the correct information and assets without hassle, there’s a better chance of your brand being utilised and conveyed in the way it was intended to be seen.

Should I change my branding if it's not working?

If your branding isn't resonating with your target audience or isn't helping you achieve your goals, it might be time to consider a rebrand. However, rebranding can be a big undertaking, so make sure you have a clear strategy in place before making any major changes. Consider hiring a professional branding agency or consultant to help guide you through the process.

Unique Considerations for Māori and Pasifika Communities

Finally, we want to highlight some specific considerations for community organisations serving Māori and Pasifika communities. 

These groups of people often have rich cultural traditions and values that should be reflected in your branding. This could include using traditional patterns or motifs, incorporating Te Reo Māori or Pacific languages, or highlighting local landmarks or natural features. 

It's also important to involve members of these communities such as local  iwi and hapū in the branding process and get their feedback. We’ve seen great examples of non-Māori community organisations welcoming local hapū members to sit on the board and ensure the organisation is to ensure you're respecting and honouring localised culture.

This is a great example of co-governance and sets your branding project up for success. Special mention should be made that even though an organisations values and give back, may not be enough for them to approve the use of their cultural designs and motifs, so ensure you seek approval first.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand why good branding matters for community organisations, and given you some ideas for creating or improving your own brand. Remember, your brand is your identity - make it strong and memorable!


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