Question:

How Do You Ensure Our Campaign Brand Will Work Alongside Our Organization’s Brand?

When it comes to largescale branding efforts, it really boils down to two different approaches: you can have multiple branded houses or a house of brands. An example of a house of brands would be Coca Cola. They have one red house for their iconic soda, with polar bears and whatnot. And all their other products — Powerade, Dasani, VitaminWater — all have their own unique, branded houses. Down the street, you have one big house with a bunch of brands all living together under one roof. Think about Uber, which has several sub-brands like the ride-hailing app we use to get to the airport and Uber Eats which we use to overpay for takeout.

Making Sure Your Brand is Structurally Sound

Non-profits, universities, and hospital systems may not be selling soda, software products, or launching a new start-up. But branding is just as essential to building your reputation both locally and globally. And when it comes to fundraising campaigns, we almost always recommend the branded house approach. Not always, but in most cases, a strong campaign brand has its own distinct identity yet feels like it lives under the same roof as your existing brand. As your agency partner, this helps us build on your track record of excellent care and innovation. And connect your storied legacy and rich traditions with a bold vision for the future. And highlight your community presence and the impact you hope to achieve with this campaign. 

Even using the branded house approach, there are still varying degrees of how similar your campaign brand should be to the existing brand of your organization, institution, or system. We explore this spectrum in more detail in another post. For now, we want to spend time looking at the team dynamics that lead to successful outcomes in a branding endeavor.

Building a Bridge Between Central and Fundraising Comms

To create harmony between your existing brand and your campaign brand, we start by creating harmony between your central communications and fundraising communications teams. We know that the relationship between these two teams is sometimes tense or disconnected. A huge part of our strategic and creative process involves inviting both sides to the table and building a bridge that strengthens the connection between the two sides. We want to hear from fundraising communications and have them weigh in on the verbal and visual direction of the campaign brand. And what we find is that campaigns are more successful when central communications is also invited to participate in workshops and discussions. Having this open dialogue at the start usually leads to more buy-in and synergy from both sides. To better understand your existing brand and how we can create a distinct yet complementary campaign brand, we like to engage with central and fundraising communications.


Special thanks to collaborators Chad Paris, Gray Gill, Ro Sullivan, and Tom Osborne.