When you picture focusing your brand it’s easy to imagine the deliverables you’ll need. You may think of new messaging, an updated logo, or a refreshed website.

It can be harder to identify the steps you need to get there.

Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, PA had engaged Trellist to evolve their marketing. When questions came up that were specific to building a nonprofit brand, we joined in to bring our expertise to the project.

Why this Project, Why Now?

To know where to begin, start by asking yourselves where you want to end up. Discuss with leadership and your board things like:

  • What does success look like?
  • When we’ve completed this project what will we be able to do differently?
  • What outcomes would be worth spending the time and money?

We start every strategic engagement with a “Stakeholders Session.” They can also be used on their own to decide what direction to go.

The Structure

A Stakeholders Session gathers 1-2 representatives of your different stakeholder groups provide input and choose direction. This gets you outside your bubble, while ensuring your advice is coming from people who know and care about your work rather than total outsiders who can pull your off your center.

The Stroud Center didn’t want to change their logo, but they did feel they needed clear language to communicate why they existed and a better plan for messaging. Their Stakeholders Session brought together marketers, fundraisers, scientists, leadership, a funding partner, a research collaborator, media, a landowner, and volunteers.

This group worked together to prioritize the things the organization needs to thrive and the people who are most critical those outcomes. We discussed strengths, challenges, opportunities, and gaps that needed to be resolved to make it happen.

This stakeholder agreement is the first step towards building a brand that is aligned with your mission and will support the funding you need to grow.

It isn’t going to be perfect. You won’t get a representative from every audience. Some people may have outlier opinions. That’s all ok. Starting here is the foundation that will get you where you need to go. Stakeholders Sessions are just one of the invisible steps in brand building. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more about the Stroud Center’s journey towards brand clarity.

Are you starting to think about brand or communication strategy and can’t wait? Schedule a discovery call so we can talk about the outcomes you’re looking for. Our AMIE process may help you find answers too.

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