I read a report on the Charity Brand Index, which assessed the top 100 UK charity brands, following a public survey.
This at first sight seems very interesting. People are much more aware of cancer charities than World Wildlife Fund for instance (or WWF as it prefers to be rebranded as). But is this really true or for that matter of any importance? It is a bit like saying people are more aware of hospitals than vets or undertakers, or more aware of steam trains than books, autistic children or retired soldiers (all of which have charities associated with them). However, the person who has a pet, or whose father has just died, or has had a connection with or interest in any of those mentioned will almost certainly have a very different perspective.
In theory, as the CEO of a charity, brand awareness should be very important to me. But in the way this report describes it, it simply is not important or relevant. I am only really interested in how aware our target audience is. Our target audience probably does not include a large part of the general public.
A random sample of the public will tell me very little. But a sample of, say, the National Trust membership visiting a nature reserve, or a sample of the RSPB membership, and knowing how many of them are aware of the WLT, now that might be helpful.
The bottom line is that if an organisation is doing well, then surveys, particularly random surveys, have very little value, but like so much of modern society's activities, there are jobs at stake. Corporate branding was to me one of the great cons of the latter part of the 20th century. And it now appears that researching that branding is another way of squeezing money from charities.
Do you think that researching the branding of charities is important? Let us know.