Why charities must focus on brand to survive Covid-19

The pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Industries, from travel all the way through to entertainment, have been severely affected by Coronavirus. But none of these have been tougher to witness than the impact on the charity sector.

In uncertain times like these, dramatic action is needed. As we begin to emerge from lockdown, and glimpse the return of ‘normal’ life, charities must be hard on themselves and identify even the smallest of weaknesses that could be holding them back. In times like these, weaknesses must be turned into strengths and used to help them rise. If a charity can rise out of the pandemic, it will never stop. These are four key areas every charity should be considering:

Strengthen the brand

The way a charity represents itself to the public is crucial. A strong brand positioning creates differentiation in market, enables a connection with consumers and ultimately helps build trust. It also helps increase income as consistent branding across all channels increases revenue by 23% (Forbes). A brand’s DNA consists of everything, from the personality and tone of voice, through to distinctive assets such as a logo, typeface and sound design
that will build mental recall with consumers. Revaluating the charity’s brand make up and consistency across platforms will offer a strong foundation to build upon moving forward.

Utilise the power of data

According to a recent survey carried out by Loqate and ACEVO, a shocking 66% of charities aren’t confident in their own data. Areas such as analytics, consumer experience, campaign management and reporting all risk being damaged, which can directly impact an organisation’s efficiency and reputation. With data decaying by 20% year-on-year, it is integral that charities implement a data-driven culture to ensure they don’t damage their brand, infringe on GDPR regulations and lose out on revenue. The key is to start with what data you need, then establish how to collect it and ultimately how to use it effectively.

Engage new audiences

For brands, targeting the correct consumers is fundamental to success both in terms of engagement, but also profit. One tactic to increase profits is to diversify when it comes to audiences, and look outside the box for future donors. Charity target audiences have traditionally been made up of older demographics.
However, a report published by Blackbaud revealed UK Generation Zers and Millennials are in fact the most generous givers. Charities would be wise to open their arms to younger potential donors and explore how to appeal to them moving forwards.

Harness digital channels

The world is digital and for that reason it is crucial that charities utilise key touchpoints to engage with their audiences. The website is an important place to start as it’s seen as the hub. Simplicity wins in this domain, particularly when it comes to the donation page, with over a quarter of web users (26%) dropping out if there are too many fields to complete (Loqate). Email is also a key channel and still ranks best for ROI. Emphasis should be put on email engagement journeys, using compelling imagery and the power of personalisation. Social media, on the other hand, offers charities the chance to experiment with content such as Instagram stories to communicate a narrative.
Embracing these areas will give charities the chance to strengthen their brand for the future and rise once and for all, ready to face further challenges that may await them down the line. ■

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