Earlier this year, I was given a wonderful opportunity to create a slogan and branding identity for a capital campaign for an educational non-profit. The challenge was that we couldn’t use the word “campaign” or “appeal.”
Now, for those of you who have been around the block before when it comes to development and institutional advancement (aka “fundraising by asking”), you know that almost every campaign calls it like it is… a campaign!
But not this time.
The leadership didn’t want to use those words because they didn’t want this particular effort to be confused with annual fundraising appeals that go on every year. This was different. It was a chance to make a real difference with the proper approach.
You see, thanks to several million-dollar-plus gifts, the non-profit was in a position to keep the ball rolling and to seek out other large donations from its constituents – those who may be inspired by the generosity of the few.
The word we used is “Momentum.”
Sure, it’s all about “keeping the drive alive,” to quote the cliche. It’s finding the right expression to open people to the idea of giving, instead of boring them with a “been there, done that” message.
Words to encourage action – what good fundraising writing is all about.
New taglines and slogans often reflect a shift in a company’s marketing. Sometimes it can be a change in the company’s service focus entirely. Sure, the words can say whatever you want them to say. You can make claims out the wazoo, but you need to go back in and connect the dots internally for your external promotions to work best for you.
Here’s an example. Glass and window business uses the catchy line “We fix your panes.” But their service is inconsistent, and their technicians are gruff – to they’re actually a real pain to deal with. Disconnect. Bad for business.
Catering business uses the slogan “Because Good Just Isn’t Good Enough.” But their fare tastes like cream of mushroom soup is the base for every sauce, and their foil-pan presentation is far from ideal. In fact, “good” would be an upgrade for them! Disconnect. Bad for business.
When you’re ready to update to a fresh slogan for your business, be sure it reflects the true nature of what you do. And be sure its message is exemplified throughout every aspect of your operations – including every employee and every customer interaction.
Sometimes words simply aren’t enough. And today’s clients are cynical and savvy enough to know when you’re less than authentic. Be sure your marketing message resonates throughout your business actions. Anything else is an opportunity lost.