by Jocelyne Daw
A big shout out to all my friends at Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Canada (BBBSC) for their exiting new brand engagement initiative "The Big Shout Out." This idea is a great example of how to bring a brand to life, and more importantly how to use it to engage and build a community of brand advocates and champions. Any organization can learn from this dynamic example of creating a brand experience that is relevant and meaningful to its current and potential supporters.The Big Shout Out Brand ExperienceWe all have a special someone who's made a difference in our lives. Parents, teachers, coaches, sisters, brothers, friends… the list goes on. Most of us wish we could thank them but it never seems to be the right time or the right place. Until now, that is.BBBSC "Big Shout Out" invites Canadians to "shout out" to a person who mentored them. The program encourages people to acknowledge and celebrate important mentors in their lives with others across Canada. It's all a part of the 100th anniversary of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada in 2013.BBBSC RebrandBig Brothers, Big Sisters Canada undertook a rebrand several years ago. The goal was to intentionally reposition BBBSC as the charity of choice that positively impacts society through mentoring – helping Canadian children and youth realize their potential both as individuals and citizens. (More details on the rebrand will come in a future JS Daw & Associates blog).When an organization rebrands itself, all too often it becomes an exercise in a new logo, a new tagline and new communications. In essence, putting style before substance. A breakthrough nonprofit brand articulates what an organization stands for: the compelling, focused idea that sets it apart and is meaningful to its supporters. The organization then uses the brand to prioritize and make decisions about its operations. It brings the brand to life by aligning mission-based programs, development activities, and communications outreach around it.Why The Big Shout Out WorksBBBSC has put its constituents at the heart of its brand identity and made it easy to understand what the organization stands for. The Big Shout Out works because it focuses on the organization’s big idea and ideal– mentoring. It then goes a step further and makes the brand personally and emotionally relevant, which builds a sense of community around unifying values and experiences. Below are the three most important reasons why The Big Shout Out is an effective campaign for BBBSC:1. It brings the brand to life While Big Brothers, Big Sisters Canada is a wonderful organization, The Big Shout Out is not meant to promote the organization itself but rather the cause ideal and higher purpose of mentorship. Through the simple experience of inviting anyone to recognize the role of a mentor in their lives, BBBSC communicates and brings to life what the brand stands for.2. Engages and builds a brand experience to rememberUnderstated, but heartfelt, The Big Shout Out gives anyone the chance to remember and celebrate their own mentoring heroes. It’s an experience that is not only personal, but makes each individual indispensable to the result. It gives them a voice, a stake in the outcome and a meaningful role to play! It builds a bond not just the brand.3. Rallies a community of brand advocates and championsBBBSC has built multiple ways to share The Big Shout Out experience. It can be tweeted, texted, youtubed and of course featured on the specially designed website! By making it easy to share, new advocates and champion can join in and celebrate the role of mentorship. Every brand expert knows the value of the word share.How You Can Help!Your shout out counts! Starting January 14, 2013 at thebigshoutout.ca you are invited to recognize a special mentor in your life. The messaging is up to you. The angle is yours alone. The tone is unique to your mentor experience. You can appreciate whomever you want; however you want.Take a minute to celebrate someone who made a difference in your life. It's easy. Give a BIG SHOUT OUT today thebigshoutout.caThen, forward and pass it along to your friends as well. Let’srecognize those mentoring heroes in our lives and givethem a simple but powerful thanks!