Brand is what other people (audience members, clients, customers, et.al) say about the work the peace builder does.
Building a brand occurs gradually over time, because while the peace builder knows their value proposition and can articulate it to others (that’s marketing), branding is out of the peace builder’s control. Brand is defined by the American Marketing Association as “A brand is a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers." However, there are about thirty different ways that a peace builder can divide up the meaning of their work and that meaning for other people, in the market. Branding comes down to the peace builder knowing their “why” and demonstrating a core proposition defined through their marketing efforts, rather than just happening organically.
There are three primary objections to brand building from the peace builder:
• I don’t have time to build a brand.
• I don’t know what a “brand” is.
• I don’t care about my business’s brand.
There are ways to break all of those down:
I don’t have time to build a brand—Building a brand is what happens when a peace builder interacts with the market, whether they are interested in it happening or not. The objection reveals a lack of understanding about what a brand really is. Which is answered in the second objection. The peace builder should be aware that every interaction, publication, act of peace making, and even private argument, leads to the creation of a story in other people’s minds. Which is where brand lives.
I don’t know what a “brand” is—From the definition, symbols, names, terms, designs, and other features are the commonly used to define a brand. I could show you the Pepsi logo and you would know what it “stands for” instantly. But in the digital era, “brand” encompasses the intangible aspects of engagement and interaction more than ever before. It used to be that organizations working in the intangible space had trouble in the Industrial Era in establishing the value of their brand in the minds of consumers, clients, and audience. But now, for the peace builder, establishing intangible value leads to a deeper appreciation of the value of the brand in the minds of the consumer.
I don’t care about my business’s brand—Very rarely does a peace builder make this objection. It comes from the place of surprise that there is a perception in the minds of the client, or the audience member, of the value of the services, name, process, design, or symbols of the peace builder’s business. Caring about business brand may be beyond the capability of a peace builder, but this does not mean that it is beyond the caring of the client.
Questions or feedback about this? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me via Twitter @Sorrells79 or check out my Facebook Business page and leave a comment there, or message me on LinkedIn.
By Jesan Sorrell