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Branding for Social Enterprises

As an idea, Social Enterprises are difficult to comprehend and even more difficult to create. They are not just about profit and they are not just about social improvement. They are a combination of the two and when creating them, the leader needs be able to balance both of these values.

Just like it is with every type of enterprise, branding is probably the most important aspect of a new business, social or not. So even a social enterprise needs a good branding strategy in order to achieve both profit as well as social improvement. But how does one set up a branding strategy for something as complicated as a social enterprise?

The key is balance. A social enterprise must not focus on just one of its aspects. There has to be a healthy mix of everything they have to offer without one diminishing the other. For example, a social enterprise must not present products with very high manufacturing costs because it could appear to counter the social innovation and improvement that there are trying to achieve. At the same time the creative solutions that the enterprise has to offer cannot seem patronizing or in any way ‘’cheap’’ in execution, for the exact same reason.

Considering the fact that a Social Enterprise is still an enterprise, we can see that the branding remains a complicated business that requires professionals to set it up. If your enterprise is to spend a little bit of extra then it might as well be for the branding. So when you start to set up your branding you will want to face your social enterprise as a ‘’company’’ that needs to succeed.

Because of a Social Enterprise’s relatively ‘’unusual’’ nature, you need to get actively involved into the branding process. Each branding project is as unique as it is important. Be there from the very beginning and have an active role in the ‘’Brand’’ model from the very beginning.

Last but not least, have a creative brand. Social Enterprises involve a lot of creativity. They have an impact on the society and that needs to be visible, every step of the way. Your brand will be as good as the work you will deliver. The work will be affected by your brand. The two are connected and you cannot have the one without the other. So make your branding as creative as possible and use it to deliver high-quality work.

Branding for Social Enterprises might be a little different than normal branding but general rules still apply. Learn everything you can about the basic branding process and try to adapt it to your Social Enterprise idea for branding. A healthy mix and a good balance will surely give you an effective branding project.


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Panagiotis Koutoudis
Director of Planning & Implementation Team

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