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“You can’t inform, shame, or scare people into changing their behavior. You have to inspire them.” -Cynthia Round

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Cynthia Round, a marketing and brand executive with over 25 years of experience. She led the rebranding strategies for United Way, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more. We wanted to get her insights on how nonprofits can learn from the best consumer brands.

Commercial brands really understand managing their brand as a strategic asset. They realize that it’s more than just a logo and a trademark, and prioritize managing their image with great intentionality. It is in fact the users of a brand that give it value. Focusing on an emotional connection with the consumer is the most important thing a brand can do. This especially applies to nonprofits, as they are not delivering a product or a service to donors. Instead they deliver a promise, making the emotional connection even more crucial.

How can organizations build loyalty and emotional connection? The starting point is to determine the significance of your brand to your loyal users. Many organizations have ample data about who their consumers are, but lack data about WHY they are consumers in the first place. Conducting in depth interviews and focus groups is an invaluable tool to help build passionate loyal relationships with new audiences. Qualitative research is an excellent starting point to create a blueprint for strategy.

An important factor in the image of your brand is the team behind it. That means everyone in your organization must be a steward of your brand. All personnel should be inspired to think about their job in the context of the experience that you are trying to create. Once you determine how your brand is significant in the lives of your users, that information can in turn be used to empower and engage your entire staff.

For our full interview with Cynthia Round, including an in depth look at nonprofit campaigns that embody loyalty and emotional connection, listen to Pursuant’s full podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/user-853787959/how-to-make-your-brand-go-beyond-relevant-to-irresistible-with-cynthia-round