NPO branding: preliminary lessons from major players

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Abstract

  • Are nonprofits (NPOs) exhibiting the brand orientation believed to be critical to successful outcomes? To answer this question, we investigate the brand orientation and brand management of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), American Red Cross (ARC), and The Salvation Army to assess the implementation of brand concepts in two different locations within the USA compared to each agency's central body. Despite the support of some propositions, there exists inconsistent evidence of strong brand management in the organizations studied. The variation of brand visuals, missions, and taglines indicates that good structure, policy, and guidelines are not enough. There must be true brand orientation, which includes oversight of consistent application of all brand constructs to achieve organizational goals. This study provides a framework upon which future in-depth empirical research may be based. The authors outline these next steps as a foundation for enhancing the study and practice of brand management in NPOs.

Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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