The last two years have been very intense for me personally and professionally. With regard to my business, I have been working very hard to grow Wayne Elsey Enterprises through our three portfolio brands: str@tegic, Funds2Orgs and 501C3U. It has been an incredible journey.

 This week, I was involved in another marketing meeting and working through our ongoing plans to continue to grow and expand all three brands. I want str@tegic to become synonymous with leadership and organizational strategy. When people think about Funds2Orgs, I want them to immediately think of it being their go to fundraising resources, and when people check out 501C3U, I want them to think of non-profit education to learn, grow, and do more.

There you have it. I was able to provide you the summation of my three brands in less than 15 seconds of reading, the elevator pitch. In today’s world, there is a lot of noise and clutter. Gone are the days when we were working and competing for opportunities with the person down the street or across the country. We are operating in a globalized world with incredible technological innovation, which forces us to consistently adapt. We live in a world of constant disruption and change.

It is true what they say, we are each a brand. We are trying to sell ourselves every day. Companies and non-profits are trying to sell to customers. Like it or not, it is all about the sell.

So, what does that mean? It means that in order to succeed, you need to be aware of the image you are projecting to the world, and you need to do it succinctly. As much of a classic as “War and Peace” is, today, we live in a world that communicates in 140 characters or less. The average home now receives 189 channels on television and soon the world will have 1 billion websites on the Internet.

Think about the greatest brands of the world and you will see a pattern. What do you think of in your mind’s eye when I write the following?

  • Coca-Cola
  • Nike
  • Apple
  • Google
  • McDonald’s

I can be almost certain that for each of them two things probably came to your mind – their brand logo and what they represent. With Coca-Cola, for example, I bet you envisioned their white and red logo and thought of carbonated soda. With Nike, you probably thought of the famous swoosh and athletic wear. With Apple, you thought of the iconic apple logo and the Mac or iPhone, etc.

If you think about it for a moment, the most successful brands are uncomplicated – each and every one of them keeps their brand simple. You think of the company and in a second or two you see their logo in your mind and their product or what they represent.

If you are associated with the non-profit sector you can do the same thing with the following: Salvation Army, Goodwill, YMCA, Special Olympics or Make-A-Wish. Admittedly, unless you are involved in the sector, you may not be as familiar with their logo, but I am sure you likely know in a mental image or word what most, if not all, of them do. That is their brand.

The formula is very easy. If you want a successful brand, keep it simple.