Yes this is a blog about Cancer Research UK’s re-brand... but it’s not a typical analysis. Others have done this already and there’s not much I can add to what’s already been shared (a quick Google search will show you what I mean).
Instead I want to focus on the absence of outrage which I find hugely interesting. Previous high profile charity rebranding exercises have come under criticism from the sector and donors alike as being at best a vanity exercise and at worst a waste of donors’ funds.
It’s a simple enough premise. If your customers, supporters or volunteers ‘speak’ with you about their needs, wants or a complaint, pay attention! It’s about having good internal communications and this means putting in place both the means for your people to communicate as well as nurturing the will for your colleagues to communicate with each other for everyone’s benefit.
For those feeling daunted by 2012, a word of encouragement. It’s not all bad news. Yes, things will be tough, but we’re all getting used to that. Nevertheless, you will still need something to carry you through the year and help you raise the funds your organisation depends on.
I was reading the tweets from the very useful @marketingdonut team and was pleased to see them share renowned marketing expert Drayton Bird’s “35 things I have found to be almost always true”. I was pleased to see it again as I didn’t get the chance to add to the list from a not-for-profit perspective... something I aim to put right below for the most impactful of Mr Bird’s points:
Relevance matters more than originality – 100% agree but originality tends to get more cut-through than cliché
The most important element in any creative endeavour is the brief – ie; the robust thinking that went into it and how the organisation can articulate that to an outsider
The urgent takes precedence over the important – but a mixture of both is likely to be the right thing to do (if your plans are robust, that is)
The customer you want is like the customer you’ve got – so true... but as well as the new types of donor, volunteer or supporter, not instead of!
The internet is just accelerated direct marketing – I think it's more than DM these days. Perhaps it’s just a hugely powerful means to achieving a whole raft of objectives (including traditional direct marketing)?
This week I’ve seen several blogs and tweets from people whose thinking I respect touching on the subject of putting your audience at the centre of your actions. Some have suggested that the audience should always be the driving force and others have posited that true innovation might not be possible if you do.
There is a Little Britain TV sketch showing the funny side of what passes as customer/supporter service in modern Britain. Basically, it parodies the fact that many front line staff appear to have been totally disempowered when it comes to dealing with the public. 'I can't do anything as it's a system-generated decision...' is heard from call -centres all too frequently. This provokes two questions:
1. Do organisations think that supporters and customers care in any way shape or form that THEIR system is the problem? 2. Do the same organisations think customers and supporters can be placated by hearing that it's the computer's fault?!?
Watching the international match between South Africa's Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks this week, it struck me just how many similarities there are between charities and rugby teams. I'll avoid the obvious comparison between boisterous team meetings and a scrum but here are a few observations that I think we could learn from. What do you think? I'm stating the completely obvious but neither rugby nor being an effective charity is an individual sport. The best single player is wasted if their team mates aren't getting the ball to them. The effectiveness of an award-wining fundraising director can easily be hampered by demotivated staff who don't deliver to their potential.