The Importance of Emotional Branding in Non-Profit Marketing

Non-profit organizations have a difficult goal – to gain money from donors without giving them anything physical in return. Unlike for-profit organizations who can satisfy their customers by providing them with a quality product or service, non-profit organizations have to find unique ways of satisfying their donors by making them feel proud about the service they are doing for society. As such, one of the best marketing techniques for non-profit organizations to gain and retain donors/volunteers is through emotional branding.

What is emotional branding?

“A diamond is forever” – this is a common slogan that was originally branded by the De Beers Company to sell their jewelry products.  The slogan is simple, easy to remember, and has lasted for years. How has something so simple lasted so long? Because it works! And why does it work? It appeals to the emotions of its audience.  The slogan, “a diamond is forever,” is a suggestion of everlasting love and sentiment – something that every woman desires to achieve.

 

This is a great example of emotional branding – a technique in marketing that refers to building campaigns and brands that appeal to the emotional needs of an audience. You see these types of campaigns everywhere, especially in non-profit marketing. Think of the ads you see on television for homeless children around the world or abused animals in shelters. These ads play to our emotions and are very successful at doing so. These ads typically result in one of two responses: either the viewer changes the channel because the advertisement is too difficult to watch, or the viewer calls and makes a donation. Generally speaking, the more you can appeal to a viewer’s emotional side, the more likely you are to gain their support through donations or volunteer work.

How do you create an emotional campaign?

Luckily for non-profit business owners, most non-profit organizations make it easy to appeal to the emotions of the audience. With that said, it is your job to push the emotions of the audience as far as you can. The more you can impact them, the more likely you are to reach your end goal. Once you have generated your first emotional response, you must demonstrate how your viewer’s contribution will make a difference. Remember, as a non-profit organization you are not providing your donor with a physical product or service, so ensuring that they feel good about their donation is an essential factor that cannot be overlooked.

Maintaining relationships

Once you have attracted a “customer," you want to ensure that they will continue to give to your cause. The only way to do this is to create lasting relationships. Again, generating an emotional response will be essential in maintaining these relationships. You have already told your donor how their contribution will make a difference – now it is time to show them. It is important for non-profit organizations to keep communication with their donors. Send regular updates, photos, or videos demonstrating how their donations are changing the world. Giving your donors that “feel good feeling” will be essential in maintaining an on-going relationship with them.

 

In sum, if someone believes in the goals of your organization, you are likely to gain their support. With that said, it is your goal as a business owner to make them believe in those goals. The best way to do this is through appealing to their emotional senses. People respond more to their emotional responses than they do to the content of an ad, and it is your job to evoke that emotional response.