Just because something looks good or is entertaining, doesn’t mean it is effective for your nonprofit’s marketing. Too often nonprofit leaders buy into the notion that what is holding back their organization is the quality of their artwork. The new communication director who joins a nonprofit’s staff and announces they are going to change the logo and rebrand their organization is a cliche. Contrary to popular belief a brand new design for all your organization’s marketing collateral is not the cure all for what may be troubling your organization’s marketing. Usually nonprofits don’t need a new artistic schtick, they need new marketing mindset.
Nonguerrillas believe they can inspire people and move them to act with the quality of their art work and the cleverness of their copy. But true Guerrillas know better than to chase after the attention of people with art, because art is often poor at motivating people to act. Guerrillas are usually more skilled at moving people to act using creativity than even master artists who are very skilled at art. Why? Because most artists can’t sell! For example, master artist Vincent Van Gogh was an inspiring artist but he was notoriously lousy at selling his work. Van Gogh’s art might move you, but he had problems moving people to buy his art. Even now people often don’t buy into the ideas of the artist; they buy the idea of buying the art. They don’t often buy into the artists values, as much as they invest in the market value of the artist’s work.
Your organization doesn’t have the luxury of being a starving artist at the same time you are a hungry nonprofit. So don’t become a slave to creative artistry that can’t yield a response from the people you want to reach. Get a marketing mindset and strategy first before you adopt a new look for your brand.
This post originally appeared on the Guerilla Marketing for Nonprofits blog.