Building Brands

Tom Marin is the managing partner of MarketCues.com and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.

Of all brands, an advocacy brand is the easiest to setup and hardest to sustain. The importance of knowing your issue and being able to stand up and evangelize it is a requirement, not the secret to success. Yet, far too many .org advocacy brands rely on just that and often find their organization lacking in funding and market dominance. Building an advocacy brand requires several keys to be successful. Here are several that are time-proven and built to last.

When a team works together in unison it can always accomplish more than a solo artist if they work together and not against each other. Success comes to teams who appreciate each team member equally regardless of their rank or experience.

Having the strongest brand possible is a necessity, not a luxury reserved for larger companies. In order to succeed today, you need an extremely well-defined brand just to stay in the game, and one way to accomplish this is to build a personal brand.

Making the brand review an ongoing practice of your organization will ensure it stays current and relevant in the market—not something you have to do, but something you want to do. That’s how the pros think about brand reviews and how they keep their brands in leadership positions.

Much of the time our assumptions of what a market will value are not correct. This is often difficult to deal with by a leader who is not trained in the art of listening! What makes sense though is to find the "keys" that will unlock your organization’s true strengths and listening helps you find them.

If your core value drives your organization to be better and do better, then what you make or provide will have even more value to those you serve. Just talking about ideas doesn’t prove a thing other than proving you’re very smart. Putting your ideas into the hands of those you serve with honesty and transparency increases your value today and into the future.

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