Is Your Organization’s Brand Credible? How to Be Certain It Is

Do you think your organization’s brand is credible? If you’re in marketing, this is one of the most important things to pay attention to. And if you’re raising money, it matters even more. You can’t raise money if what your organization stands for (your brand) is not credible.

This article is based on an insightful blog post by Colleen Dilenschneider, which breaks down exactly how you can tell whether or not your brand is credible. Dilenschneider introduces the “Four Rs of Brand Credibility.”

Her argument starts with this powerful statement:

We live in a world in which the market — and especially potential donors and supporters — make decisions based on their own perceptions of how an organization achieves its mission. Studies reveal that demonstrating impact is a key driver of giving decisions.

For mission-based non-profits, this may be more straightforward than in the arts. If you’re focused on health care, nature, animals, or disaster relief, your job is to make sure the community of people who care about your work knows about it. And if it does, and you’re doing a great job of fulfilling your mission, that should lead to the community’s support.

In the arts it’s a bit harder to connect the dots because, as a marketer, you’ve got two masters to serve. First are the empty seats. You have to get the word out about what you’re doing and engage with the public to fill the house. In addition to simply marketing the art that your organization puts on stage, or hangs on the wall, you have to demonstrate that your organization is creating lasting value from a mission point of view.

In a perfect world, your mission-oriented marketing and communication could be easily intertwined with your event marketing.

  • If your mission is to create the most cutting-edge dance, are you emphasizing this focus as you market your individual events? Or are you simply promoting your next dance event to fill seats?
  • If your orchestra is commissioning local composers, how does that resonate with your mission? How do you demonstrate its resonance to the public, aside from simply trying to sell tickets to the event?

There are no easy answers to these questions, but focusing only on filling the venue skips this important aspect of marketing. You should always reaffirm the value of your brand.

Dilenschneider’s blog post goes on to remind us that no matter how good your brochure and your advertising, what you say about yourself is less powerful than what others say about you.

In fact, reviews from trusted resources are 12.85 times more influential in terms of your organization’s reputation than [are] the advertising and promotions that likely make up the lion’s share of your media budget.

Her post ends by describing exactly why CRM matters so much today. She identifies “social care” as one of the key ingredients for a strong brand. When you boil it down, social care is mostly about offering your patrons great service.

“Social care” is a term for carrying out relationship building and customer service practices on communication platforms (digital and otherwise). Social care is expected by audiences in today’s world.

As I’ve written many times before, your audience expects excellent service because they get it more and more from the brands they trust and like. Companies that provide shoddy customer service, or companies that don’t know who you are or what your history with them is, are becoming dinosaurs. A great CRM strategy solves for this — which is why CRM is becoming a part of every organization’s backbone.

I hope you agree that this subject is centrally important as the connection between brand quality and patron relationship quality becomes more engrained. I hope you’ll read the post in its entirety and/or send it to your colleagues and board members.

Learn More about PatronManager, the powerful CRM platform that helps you sell more tickets, raise more money, and cultivate stronger bonds with your audience, all in one database.