Recently I went to a workshop CNE organized with our strategic partner, the PATH Resource Center, in Warrenton, VA. The trainer, Liz Johnson, of Mountain View Marketing, covered a lot of ground around branding, messaging, and strategy. One point in particular stuck with me: democracy in marketing.
One way to make your messaging more democratic is to “educate and empower brand champions.” Brand champions—whether staff, board, volunteers, or donors—represent your brand to the public. Their expression is further validated by the personal experience they’ve had with your organization. By entrusting brand champions, you can increase word-of-mouth promotion that connects you with future donors, clients, members, or partners.
But democratizing your messaging runs the risk of creating inconsistencies. Fifty brand champions shouldn’t mean fifty versions of your brand. So how do you maintain consistency?
Liz suggested creating a brand advocacy resource document. This document should definitely include a value proposition, vision and mission statements, as well as an outline of your programming, including any emerging services, collaborations, or sponsorships. You might also include key numbers that help communicate impact or FAQs with sample answers. Your brand advocacy resource document educates your brand champions. In turn, this ensures consistency in your messaging and gives your brand champions a reference point from which to go forward with confidence.
Do any of you have experience with these sorts of documents? Have they been useful? What other ways has your organization worked to empower and educate brand champions or otherwise democratize marketing?
We have a lot of valuable marketing workshops coming up! Check out:
- Elements for a Successful Web Presence (free brown bag lunch session!)
- Getting Your Message Across to Your Audience: A Hands-On Media Relations Workshop
- Building a Marketing Plan and Channel Strategy
- Social Media for Small Nonprofits: Focused Effort for Impact (free brown bag lunch session!)