Nov. 19: Where branding and shit fundraising is the topic and Mark types reeeaally slowly

*Beate added Mark Phillips to the chat*

John

So… should we get this party started?

Beate

Yes!

John

As we all know, Simon is in the middle of hosting the AMAZING – Fundraising Everywhere conference – happening right now

Jen

(and killing it) <3

John

so he can’t be ‘here’… so we’ve invited Mark Phillips to guest lobster today

Beate

Welcome!

John

And

we are going to talk about EVERYONE’

s fav topic

BRANDING!! YIPPEE

Mark

Luck comes in many shapes and forms

John

Do we need to introduce mark?

i mean – we know he’s world famous but…

Mark

My name is Mark and I am a fundraiser.

John

ok. moving on

Beate

Mark is the guy who said “I’d be bloody delighted.” when I asked if he’d like to guest lobster the episode about branding and shit fundraising

😂

Jen

And we’re bloody delighted to have him! THanks for joining this gongshow

John

I want to start with defining what we think “branding” means…

i’ll let our guest go first

Beate

how organised

John

lol

did we just meet Beate?

*Mark is typing*

Jen

Welcome Mark!

From left: John Lepp, Mark Phillips, Beate Sørum, Simon Scriver and Jen Love stand in front of a craps table in Vegas

*Mark is typing*

John

VEGAS BABY!

Beate

Now shush so Mark can answer his question!

Mark

Ok. My thoughts. Many charities look at branding as the corporate identity.

*Mark is typing*

*Mark is typing*

Jen

Is he searching for the right GIF?

John

We should have tested Mark on his keystroke count before we asked him to join us

Beate

😂

Mark

The logo, colour palate, name, copy style, but in many ways that is wrong. Branding is a way to distinguish a charity in a market

It’s all one finger tapping.

John

oh sweet jesus

we only have 30 minutes here Mark.

Mark

I’ll try

Jen

I think branding is how your donors experience your charity

how they feel when they hear from you, what you say… but too often we focus on the logo.

John

I always suggest that ultimately… Branding is how your donors experience YOU… The stories you share with them, the problems they help you solve, the way they feel when they give to you…

Mark

And it’s the donors experience that can define that.

John

that was my line Jen… lol

Jen

i was clarifying! i know it’s your line. you basically taught me everything i know and care about branding

John

Mark – ultimately… it’s it ALL fundraising?

doesnt it feed all the same beast?

in other words – it ISN’T – branding > fundraising

Mark

That’s all people focus on.

Yeah, John, it does. But it’s so easy to do a new brand and ignore all the soft stuff that really matters.

Beate

Branding gets a bad rep, but really – it’s like the air in a conference room, you only notice it when it’s bad. When it’s good you don’t notice, it just makes everyone inspired and alert.

John

thats a good way to look at it Beate

Jen

VERY well said Bea!

Glad we have this written down

Beate

Thank you, I was quite pleased with that metaphor myself

😁

John

Why do you think that is Mark?

just go the “soft stuff” isnt very sexy?

Mark

Because branding normally borrows from the commercial sector.

In the commercial sector a brand is a guarantee. A guarantee to wash clothes whiter, or to make your car go faster or to make you smell better.

*Mark is typing*

*Lobsters wait in suspense*

*Mark is typing*

It’s says you can depend on us. Whereas in our sector, a brand needs to say we depend on you.

Beate

oooh

Jen

YES-so we are starting from the wrong place being commercial > connected

John

i fucking love that

Beate

that. is. smart!

Jen

Good lord he types slow but it’s brilliant when it gets here

Beate

HAHAHA

John

lol

do we want to talk about branding done right?

an example of who does it right?

Mark

So comms teams take the approach and talk about how great the charity is.

John

yes… and they get really offended when we point it out to them

Mark

Our values are innovative, forward thinking, blah blah.

And the donor doesn’t bloody care about that b

John

there seems to be a historical US vs THEM thing with FUNDRAISERS vs COMMS folk

Mark

They get offended because we are challenging their view point.

John

often is becasue they are attacing ours too

Attacking

Mark

They take a commercial view borrowed from commerce. We are fundraisers. It’s completely different.

John

saying that the charity “WE” is more important than the donor “YOU”

Mark

commercial brands are about how great we are b

It doesn’t work in fundraising.

Because it is designed for people who are 79+

John

so – should we NOT have branding at our orgs?

(a ridiculous question)

Jen

And a HUGE part of it is the misalignment between your average marketing director who wants to like the work they do, and the donor who isn’t there

meeting donors where they are is hard when you want to focus on specific logo/brand etc

John

i mean – ultimately – as 4 fundraisers… what do we think the role of branding at our orgs should be?

Mark

Wally olins defined branding as seduction.

Jen

Making sure our stories are consistent in the way they look and feel (both the way they actually look and the way they make donors feel)

Mark

Not a million miles from ‘love’

John

ooo sexy time…

Go on..

Jen

#donorlove sounds nicer than #donorseduction

Mark

It’s an inappropriate term. But at its heart it’s about understanding what the other person wants.

John

in this case.. what the donor wants

Jen

YES-totally agree with that Mark

Beate

Have you guys read Jeff Brooks’ book on charity branding?

John

yes. it’s a brilliant book

Beate

My favourite example from that book (if I remember it right, it’s been a while), is a charity that rebranded their name from something to do with leprosy, to the formal name of the disease. And then stopped showing any photos of obviously sick people or talking about their challengs, and just started showing happy people who where quite fine.

Mark

There are so many charities all doing the same thing.

Beate

Which, yes, is the reality of many people who live with whatever the current name for leprosy is. But it’s not going to raise any money for fixing what is still a problem. –

Mark

We see the Leporasy example all the time. The name doesn’t fit exactly what we do so we have to change it.

They forget about the thousands of donors who feel part of the org.

And become something different.

It’s like a new charity coming along and retrying to win the donor from the old charity.

Beate

Basically fundraising from “cold” donors all of a sudden

Mark

Yes!

Beate

and then being surprised when fundraising tanks

Mark

Yes!

Donors don’t realise you have changed.

And are waiting to give to you

The new org is a cagickeceithout any soul.

Beate

hahahahahha

cagickeceithout

Mark

Vehicle without soul.

John

but sometimes… changing your name to something that makes more sense vs something that is more abstract needs to happen too, right?

Mark

Why?

John

i’m just asking the question

Mark

Look at wwf

World wide fund for nature.

It used to be world wildlife fund

John

hold up chief

it’s “world wide fund for nature” now?

🤯

Mark

Bp used to be British petroleum. Bp doesn’t mean tgat any more.

Yes. It changed its name but kept its soul.

Beate

Mark

Same logo. Same initials.

John

how did i fucking miss that memo?

Beate

Because you weren’t meant to get it!

Jen

Because it doesn’t matter!

John

LOL

Beate

Halleluja

🙌🏼

*Mark is typing*

Jen

The strength of the brand is that it’s still wwf and the panda and what you know they stand for

John

RIGHT!

nailed it JLo

Mark

Yes!

Beate

They didn’t try to put new meaning into a brand

Mark

Clever, kind, respectful.

Beate

Not pushing away everyone who believes in the “old” brand

Mark

So when an organisation changes from “YWCA” to “Platform 51” the arse falls out of the fundraising.

Beate

ahahhaha

Mark, is that a real example??

Mark

Yes, it’s a real example.

Have a google.

Because “51% of the population is female”.

Brandicide.

Organisation basically died over the next few years after a few more rebrands.

Beate

Wow. That is alarming.

Mark

The brand has to show dependency on the donor v

It’s not customer dependency on the brand.

John

it has to be donor inclusive

i shake my head at the times i see branding that is VERY donor exclusive

no room for them in the story

Jen

And that’s not a weakness it’s a strength to have your donors right there with you

Mark

Yes. It’s a strength. We need you!

All renaming hurts the charity. Sometimes fatally.

Tgat rebrand killed the ywca in the U.K.

I’ve never seen one actively boost income.

John

do we have an example of one that REALLY GETS IT

Mark

WWF is a great one.

Beate

I think it must have boosted their income

Jen

As much as I’m not a fan of it, the Sick Kids VS is definitely raising way more money for them

maybe partly because it IS controversial

And because it’s part of a capital campaign that is underpinned by a strong need

John

it’s feel good markting

merketing

jfc

i actully know how to spell y’all

Beate

And, when I worked for the Cancer Society we rebranded with a new logo and colours etc to unify the brand. That also worked, like two weeks later someone had the new logo tattooed on them

But the brand was still 100% recognisable with the old one.

Mark

Imperial cancer research and cancer research fund became cancer research uk

Change colours or logo and it’s not too negative

But don’t change the name.

Beate

And not too different

Mark

Best book on branding is “don’t fuck with the logo” by Jon edge and Andy Milligan

*Mark is typing*

John

i think we could chat a lot longer about this

but we are almost out of time and Mark types WAY too slow

Mark

Sums it all up.

Beate

Next time, we’ll tell him that he CAN access whatsapp on a laptop and not just his phone

Mark

Sorry. Can we do a proper podcast next time?

I am a Luddite.

John

LOL

No, Mark.

John

anyhow – we tend to wrap with a lobster fact

and i have a good one

true story: LOBSTERS WILL EAT EACH OTHER GIVEN THE CHANCE

Beate

Not these lobsters

John

they’re fucking cannibals! IMAGINE!

Jen

oh wow

So dark.

Imagine.

Mark

Not witnessed in the wild. Normally only happens in lobster nets or tanks.

Beate

Mark. Bringing reason and fact to the discussion once again

John

ok gang. i gotta BOUNCE! thanks everyone.

Mark

It’s society forcing unnatural change. Just like branding!

Beate

badum-tsssshh

John

haha

Mark

That’s. Bye. X

Thanks

Jen

“proper podcast” HAHAHAH

Beate

oh mark you’re going to come off like such a boomer with all those typo’s and the slow typing

John

*hits stop on recording*

Mark

I only have one right thumb.

Glad I wasn’t a complete waste of time. I’ll download the what is up? application on my personal computer if I ever get another invite. So I can be faster.

Beate

HAHAHAH

Jen

Oh, I have another great example, but it’s literally happening right now

A really well known charity is going through the exercise right now

And we happened to see a sneak peek

I’ll share it here but you guys can’t show anyone else

lobster cone of silence is real

Mark

Who?

Promise!

*Jen removed Mark Phillips from the chat*

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