How to measure and shape Brand Perception for your nonprofit?
Updated: Jul 14
Do you ever wonder what your brand means to your targeted audience? Brand perception is important to any business including Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs). Opinions about your organization matter, and it is important to understand what those opinions are and how they are formed. Lucky for you, brand perception is malleable and can be shaped through social media, actions, connections and loyalty.
Brand perception is owned by customers, in NPO’s case, the community they serve, clients, and donors, and not the NPO itself. Whatever people say or think about your brand is your brand. So, what is a brand? It is an identifier which distinguishes companies from each other but is intangible and only exists in people’s minds. The perception is molded primarily through a collective of shared experiences. The organization has the ability to alter these perceptions and mold them in other ways. How this happens is dependent on how they interact with clients, customers, etc. Most prominently, organizations do this through email campaigns and social media.
Measuring Brand Perception
There are several ways to measure brand perception which are surveys, analyzing web traffic, search volumes, and mention volume. If you have a budget, focus groups and brand forums would be an excellent way to measure your brand perception. Surveys can be conducted by email, phone, poll on social media etc. Ask people if they know of your brand and how they heard of it. This will give you a good insight to see if your brand leaves an impression. Your website analytics can show you if people are visiting your site directly. If so, that means that they think about your brand and come specifically for you which is an indicator of brand awareness. You can use tools such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to track your search volume which can show you trends over time. It is also important to see what people are saying about you and how often your organization is mentioned online.
Shaping Brand Perception
It is important to know your target audience by general demographics and other relevant information such as profession and interests. This knowledge, coupled with the data of brand perception, allows you to steer your own brand perception to what you envision. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth and utilize the knowledge about your target audience to engage them in conversation. While brand perception is a mental concept, you have the tools and power to influence it and take control.
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The CLASS Consulting Group is a trusted advisor to the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership of Nonprofits. It is a boutique management consulting firm headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area that provides consulting services to senior management and Board of Directors of nonprofit organizations and offers community leadership opportunities to professionals.
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