If you work for a nonprofit brand, your question is often, “How do I get it out there? How do I make a splash? How do I make it big? How can we grow? How, essentially, can we create more revenue?” Amirite?
Furthermore, how do you set yourself apart from non – Jewish competitors in your field that often have more funding, are more diverse, more world-open, super local and free or at least much cheaper?
The challenge is to find out what is the right path – how do you frame your brand so that it touches your audience in a moving way and brings you results that grow the brand?
Since we work with multiple clients in each field – educational institutions, summer camps, universities, social causes – we see the same challenges and hurdles recur in each setting. And because we work with dozens of clients in each field, we see commonalities between them and can attack/address them in a super-specific and efficient way without wasting our clients’ hard-raised dollars.
But more than that: Not only do we work with a lot of brands; we are spreading our wings geographically to reach farther places beyond the New York area. Right now we do projects in Los Angeles, Fresno, Toronto, New Delhi, Tel Aviv, Berlin. On this national and international level, we have been able to collect more information as to how an audience responds to messaging, and we take our experience and data we collect from all over the globe, and apply it to our campaigns here for the New England sleepaway camp, Camp Yavneh.
Camp Yavneh faced the same challenges that most of our nonprofit clients face regarding growing their brand and establishing the right “identity”. So we proposed a campaign that eventually will turn everything around and will make them market leaders. The question we started off with was the one that begins every campaign:
What do you do in order to drill into the heads and emotional psychology of your constituents and find out what they want? The answer: You survey them.
In the case with Camp Yavneh we discovered that their main competition are local, non-Jewish “specialty” day camps, like a drama camp or horseback-riding camp.
Now, it’s one thing to set yourself apart from other Jewish camps, but how do you set yourself apart from non-Jewish camps which usually have an enticing offer: They are cheaper, closer to home, and more focused in their scope?
Don’t jump on the bandwagon and pretend to offer the same stuff or wear same “identity” – what you stand for. No matter what, you always need to highlight that one thing that really distinguishes you from them and the rest. If you are very “spiritual” you own this, if you own “artistic” because a lot of your focus is art and music, that is your thing. If you own “Passion for Israel”, that is your thing. If you own athleticism or sports, then that is your thing. And don’t worry whether or not your competitors offer the same or similar programs. They probably haven’t advertised them and therefore don’t own that “identity”. Remember: whoever grabs it first owns it for eternity.
In short: Make that one thing – and only one thing – the focus of your image and the identity of your brand. Once you did that you can branch out. But stand for something. Your entire campaign centers on that.
So, we discovered that Camp Yavneh was all about two things: Community and Eretz Yisrael. In previous years they may have tried to say that they have what all those small, local speciality camps have as well. But they have something much greater that those camps don’t.
Thus we decided to make three films that address these differences and highlight what makes Yavneh stand out from the status quo, as well as address some of the objections . So we made:
1. One film about the excitement of many diverse super high octane activities in a Jewish setting – as opposed to all those activities at a local day camp in a non-Jewish setting
2. One film about the super-charged, fun “Klal Yisrael” atmosphere that campers do not get at local non-Jewish camps
3. And lastly, the centerpiece, a promo that shows the breadth and depth of the camp overall
Be bold. And more importantly, be yourself.