What’s the Brand IDEA?

One of my key roles at the Foundation was to help manage and communicate the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation brand. The “Brand IDEA” framework stems from research done by Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations where they looked at the structure of many of the world’s top non-profit brands and found a consistent structure that enabled those brands to flourish. It was determined that in a non-profit context, brand management is more about empowering and engaging stakeholders in the cause rather than simply generating awareness through traditional media channels. It is very much a participative engagement process where both internal and external partners are active brand ambassadors. This approach places the focus on sustainable engagement of the cause vs. simply on fundraising.

For the most part, the structure of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation brand echoes the three pillars of the Brand IDEA – Integrity, Democracy and Affinity. This meant that all supporting brand collateral items became vital tools for both internal and external stakeholders. One of the most requested brand touchpoints was of course the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation identity. In the interest of collaboration, an easy to use, utilitarian document was designed to be shared on how best to use the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation logo without being overly technical or draconian in approach.