Design tips and insights for nonprofits and social enterprises.

The keys to a good brand are like costume changes at an award show — there are many.

You know it has to look good and be adaptable, but what makes your brand really work is its connection to your ideal audience. This happens over time as each person sees and interacts with it. But how do you get to that connection in the first place?

It requires a bit of connecting the dots of:
your motivations + actions ——————————————— your ideal audience’s motivations + actions

branding diagram

So, what does this mean in real life?

Let’s take the Girl Scouts brand, which was voted top Youth Non-Profit Brand of the Year by The Harris Poll. (Disclaimer: I have no inside knowledge of the Girl Scouts brand. These notes where simply complied after looking at their online communications.)


Girl Scouts

Motivations: to instill courage, confidence, and character in young girls
Actions: local troops come together for fun activities where girls earn badges, learn and contribute to their communities

Their Audience

Girls’ motivations: they want to take risks, try new things, and make new friends
Girls’ actions: ages 6–17, adventurous, friendly, energetic


So what should this brand look like? I would say that overall the brand needs to be colorful, bold, and energetic.

Now check out a glimpse of their 2010 rebrandFYI — this is on a blog for and by designers so some of the content is very design-geekish.

Can you connect the dots with your own brand? How do they match up? Let me know in the comments