Branding is what other people—clients and customers—say about you in the market as a peace builder. Brand promise, brand distinctiveness, and brand alignment with where clients are at versus where we would like them to be, is critical to peacebuilding success in the open market.
Now is the time for the savvy, entrepreneurial peace builder to go about developing a self-aware, intentional, brand identity based on developing strict guidelines for print, web, and social media presence. These standards can help the peacebuilder advocate for their own inspiration, control the guidelines around their brand, and provide some control in the market.
There are three reasons for the independent, entrepreneurial, peace builder to develop an internal branding document:
When you talk about your brand, that’s marketing, and when other people talk about your efforts, philosophy, approach, and products, that’s branding. The document that codifies what your brand stands for in the market for both you and your audience can be inspirational. Branding documents represent where a peace builder would like to go, and where they have come from. It also is an opportunity to collaborate on developing your vision with your audience.
The “nuts ‘n’ bolts” of color schemes, typography choices, image sizes, spacing between images, logo size, color and design, and multiple other things are included in a branding document. Whether it’s one page, five pages, or the size of a small book, a branding document tells other people about the architecture underlying your brand. The document also serves as a map (but not the territory) for other people to work on aspects of your brand. The branding document eliminates frustrations that many peace builders experience when working with third-party service providers, such as web designers, graphic designers, and more who may have a different vision of your brand than they do.
Guidelines in a branding document act as boundaries, protecting intellectual property (a peace builders’ brand is their intellectual property) and allowing other people to measure and quantify those boundaries. Establishing branding guidelines allows the peace builder to change and develop them over time and shift them as the brand identity shifts in response to the market.
A branding document does not have to be multiple pages. A basic recommendation is that branding documents have notations and ideas around colors, logo type, photo use, trade marking and copyright best practices. This document is not static; it will evolve and grow over time.
In order to protect your brand, a branding document with practical guidelines is the step that comes after a peace builder has feedback in from the market about their process and offerings.
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By Jesan Sorrell