I¬†don’t drink beer.
I don’t like it.
I had a Dos Equis last night.¬†
I liked it.
In the last three years, Dos Equis has gone from a little quaffed boutique brew to a often quoted and more frequently consumed phenomenon.
A brand, in its most elemental form, is a unique promise that the consumer equates with the product.¬† It is not tangible and is the end product of a lot of subtle processes, like positioning, that are too many to name here.
The longer a segment of the market associates good things with a product, the stronger the product’s brand equity.¬† The stronger the brand equity of a product, the more the market seeks to affiliate itself with the product.
The equity of a brand is a fragile thing, however, and when it fails, so does the product.
Consider my favorite car company:¬† Ford.¬† In the early 1990′s, Ford motorcar had two new products:¬† the Ford Taurus and the Ford Escort.¬† They were constructed as well built, reliable vehicles and, for a while, renewed the Ford brand.
Yet, through the 1990′s, Ford failed to evolve the product line.¬† The cars became tired and the public became bored with them.¬† Sales declined and Ford was at the brink of bankruptcy.
The non profit sector is as competitive as the American motorcar industry and, like Ford, many Diocesan development departments have maintained their annual programs as if they were museum pieces and they have remained unchanged for many, many years.
Signs of Appeal Fatigue?
Loyal donors, those who given for more than five years, leaving your program.¬† They are your canary in the Appeal coalmine.
Stay Thirsty my Friends.