Creating a strong brand maximises a charity’s fundraising success, allowing them to do more in good work. But how can we tell if brands are worth the investment?
Over many years, charities have developed some of the best known and most trusted brands. Awareness of the top brands, such as Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation is almost universal, at 98% and 97% retrospectively - figures that even private sector behemoths like Amazon or Tesco would be envious of.
These brands help donors, volunteers, the general public and other decision makers select where and how they pledge their support. They give a voice to those in need, giving weight to their case for change, reform or protection, often at the highest levels.
It’s clear to me, however, having worked in and with the non-profit sector for nearly two decades, that the sector remains uncomfortable about brands and branding.
On the one hand, yes, strong brands create positive outcomes. But on the other, building a strong brand can direct resources away from frontline impact and introduce unfamiliar risks.
Brand valuation has been around for many years in the for-profit sector. I have always believed its core principles are equally applicable to both for and not-for-profit sectors: In both sectors brands help guide choice, generate income above costs and secure loyalty and advocacy. In both worlds an organisations’ most valuable single asset is often its brand.
Our brand valuation framework quantifies the financial value of UK charity brands and ranks the top 100 brands, by value. It explains how value is created and highlights strategic opportunities and threats. Our study proves that non-profit organisations have financially valuable brands which deserve the same focus, investment and management as those at for-profit businesses, and importantly, can also provide the same rewards. The data and analyses will be useful to charities of all sizes.
All of the numbers used to value the brands are based on publicly available financial data from the Charity Commission. Detailed brand perception data comes from our own BrandVue Charities dataset. BrandVue Charities captures daily feedback from over 60,000 general public interviews annually, up and down the country, across all ages and social groups. The analysis framework is simple, intuitive and based on the accredited ISO 10668 standard for Brand Valuation.
In our table’s first year we aim to inform and inspire: To share with you fascinating new data about many familiar brands and to link you into a debate about what success looks for charitable organisations in the 21st century.
I hope you enjoy this first year and we are looking forward to seeing how things change in the future. As any good researchers, we are always looking to expand and refine our approach – your suggestions are always welcome!
Julian Dailly is one of the senior directors at Morar HPI, with responsibility for BrandVue. Julian was the Director of External Affairs for youth sight loss charity, Royal Society for Blind Children and has led many non-profit client relationships over his 15 year consulting career, including The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and GOSH.