We are witnessing the rise of a new generation of social entrepreneurs across the world, who are building businesses with positive social and/or environmental impact, seeking to create a better future for all of us. For these businesses to reach their true potential, they need to communicate clearly who they are, what they do, and why that matters. They need to know who their audiences are and how they can create strong relationships with them – and this is where branding comes in. Yet these social businesses often don’t have the knowledge to create a strong brand, or the funds to hire professional brand agencies. The Brandling wants to see a world where a family starting a lemonade factory in Sierra Leone has access to as much knowledge on the branding process as a company like Coca Cola. That is why we are creating a toolkit that provides change makers with the knowledge and tools they need to build their brand. And we need your support to make it happen!
Who it’s for
The Branding Toolkit is developed for the needs of:
- social enterprises / b-corporations
- small businesses
- the creative sector
- NGO's and charities
- startups and existing organizations
- in sectors as diverse as tech, food, education, fashion, business services or women's rights.
The toolkit content
- The Anatomy of a Brand: the parts that make up a brand, what they help you do and how you define them.
- The Branding Process: where you start, what the process looks like and how you can guide it over time.
- Essays from brand experts: what you need to know about protecting your brand legally, naming, messaging, setting a budget, and more.
- Case studies of successful change making brands from across the world such as Sanergy, Solar City, Sugru and Tony Chocolonely.
- Over 20 tools and exercises that help you design your own brand strategy including the Brand Thinking Canvas, the Mission Statement Composer, the Values Game, Persona Template, Creative Agency Briefing Template, and more.
The story of the toolkit
As a brand developer and founder of The Brandling, I collaborate with change makers all over the world, from Tunis, Lusaka, Boston, Donegal, Amsterdam, to Riyadh and Nairobi. I develop custom made brands and use self designed tools to co-create brand strategies on location in workshop settings.
Wherever I go, social entrepreneurs rate branding as crucial to their success: as a tool to attract investment, clients or partners, stand out from the competition, attract better talent for their team, and create enthusiastic and loyal fans of their venture. Yet they rate their own brand capabilities as low. Lack of knowledge, budget to hire professionals or access to high quality resources, holds them back. They have a lot of questions, and the process feels daunting.
I realised there is a real need for accessible, expert knowledge and skills around branding. Working one on one with people is just a drop in the bucket. So I asked myself: how can we empower change makers to create stronger brands for themselves? I came up with the concept of a toolkit: a digital publication that offers high quality, comprehensive, and practical branding knowledge and the tools to help social entrepreneurs apply that knowledge to their own organisation. A toolkit is a financially and logistically efficient way to build the branding capabilities that change making entrepreneurs need.
To test if a toolkit is the right format for transferring knowledge and building skills, I developed a beta-version of the toolkit, with 132 pages of content, and 15 different tools. I tested it with 35 ambitious participants of a Social Innovation Management Course at the Amani Institute in Nairobi. Brand thinking skills are crucial to help them articulate their mission, the value of what they offer and get the audiences and support they need. It was a pleasure to see how quickly the participants picked up on the tools and used them to hone the presentation of their change making concepts.
How we will use the funds
Our beta version is at 60% of what we would truly want to build. Armed with lots of feedback, we are ready to supplement and strengthen the beta version into a full grown Branding Toolkit. With your support we will be able to do more research, develop more content and case studies, conduct interviews, develop and test additional tools, and get the best brand experts as guest authors to share their expertise in naming, legal aspects, messaging and more. We’re bringing in a proofreader and a designer to make sure it's an easy to read, functional and attractive document.
When we raise more than our goal
1) More money means more time to create great case studies
2) More money means we can donate toolkits to social entrepreneurs in low income countries
3) We want to make the toolkit available in other world languages, such as Spanish, Arabic or Hindi. Additional funding could help us make this possible. Thank you for helping us make this a truly global movement!
This is just the beginning
With strong brands, change making entrepreneurs can reach more customers, become more financially sustainable, and create more shared value. This toolkit is a first step on our bigger quest to level the playing field between companies that create shared value for their workers, communities and the natural world, and companies who’s value only accrues to shareholders. Watch our TED talk to learn more about our mission. When shared value business becomes the norm, we all benefit. Thank you for being part of our journey!
Risks and challenges
We have been involved in many editorial projects in the past, writing for online and print media on design and creativity, and designing annual reports, books and catalogues. Our experience teaches us that on time delivery can be challenged by the 'waterfall process'. First, all content must be ready to go into the editing or translation process, then we need the final edit in order to start the design process, then we need a finished design in order to go to pre-press and production of the limited edition printed toolkit. When one of these steps is delayed, this often translates to the entire process.
Fair payment of all the contributors gives us the ability to also demand a professional process of adhering to deadlines. We've enlisted 70% of our team in advance and have already set timelines and budgets with them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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