Sometimes our intentions are good, but they miss the big picture. Last year on May 4th, also known as “Star Wars Day,” the brand Cinnabon tweeted an image of Princess Leia with a bun in her hair with a clever caption. It garnered a lot of positive attention for its playfulness and humor. The same image was used for Carrie Fisher’s death, which was met with negative reactions from fans who felt it was too exploitative for such a somber occasion.

Branding is important because it can affect a company in positive or negative ways. I recently attended a Design Conference called Create Upstate, and the information I received was gold. Branding is important because:

  1. Good branding is important because people who feel more do more.
  2. The stronger the message, the more likely it will ignite emotion in and connect with an audience. This creates loyalty and recognition.
  3. Good branding builds excitement, which can lead to word-of-mouth references and generous company promotion.
  4. A good campaign makes a significant difference, bringing in more attention and exposure.

I will share with you a project created by a Rochester design studio named Truth Collective that shows an example of a successful branding campaign for a nonprofit organization, and its results.

This campaign was created to promote an annual award ceremony given by a nonprofit organization called Causewave, located in Rochester. The award ceremony recognizes individuals and groups who have contributed to the community and to the organization in a significant way. Truth Collective created a campaign for this event, naming it Slaying Giants. The idea came from the mythological tale of David and Goliath. The idea of an average human male defeating a giant ten times his size is a symbology for the nonprofit; their small company successfully fights against corporations that are affecting society in a negative way. The material created for this campaign was released into the world through digital and printable outlets. A couple weeks before the event, ticket sales increased by more than 18%.

Besides the organization’s publicity and sales, branding is an identity. It is a foundation and support to the organization’s existence. A name is significant, but how significant is something without a face or personality?

Don’t undervalue the importance of branding. It’s more powerful than you think!

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