The Community Action Brand and
The Community Action Promise
The Community Action brand is the Promise and each day we must call the Promise into action. Every one of us should ask ourselves "What are we doing today to deliver the Community Action Promise?" Every document, each story that we tell should be an example of how Community Action delivers the Promise.
The Promise Makes Us Different
This is what makes us different. It is the Promise that brings us together and makes us a genuine brand. We are a national network like no other in the country. Even though our Community Action Partnerships may administer 50 or more different programs and services - all unique, all tailored to the specific needs of the community - we have this in common - the Community Action Promise! Our mission statement is what we DO. Our Promise is how we FEEL about what we do. The Promise helps to define us as a Community Action brand more than our CSBG funds and our tri-partite board system.
We use the Community Action Partnership logo to imprint us as one network, but it is delivering the Promise that sets us apart. Remember this - Community Action is the only social service anti-poverty network that has such a Promise. So we must always ask ourselves "how are people carrying out the Promise?" Without it, it is difficult to differentiate us from any other human services organization. But because we have a Promise - it is a thread that weaves us together as one - it is embedded in all we do, it becomes our "pledge" to the people that we serve and the people who support us.
It's About How People Feel
When we talk about how people "feel" about Community Action we refer to the range of feelings that include - but are not limited to - confidence, satisfaction, trust, respect, comfort, and loyalty. The "people" includes all stakeholders: program participants, community members, public officials, supporters, funders, members of the media, and others who have involvement with Community Action. In order for an organization to be a genuine brand, it must meet several expectations:
- It is truly distinctive in a manner that is important or valued by its users
- It is committed to providing emotional and functional benefits
- It consistently fulfills its promise and delivers on its commitment
When people come away from a Community Action Agency feeling positive emotionally, the Promise has been delivered. Multiply that by the 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the country and the Community Action brand becomes one that is recognizable and turned to time and again. It takes work to make this happen, but Community Action has successfully faced many more difficult challenges over the years.
Delivering the Promise
Behind the Promise, there is a concept. Each word and phrase says something about who we are - but the words do not tell us HOW that Promise is delivered. That is up to each and every person in the Community Action network. Community Action delivers outstanding programs and services - but that fact does not address HOW Community Action "embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other." Part of the "how" is based on Community Action principles:
Why Use the Community Action Partnership Logo?
- Opens doors and leads the way
- Turns hope into reality
- Treats people with respect
- Says "Yes"
- Gives a voice to the poor
- Mirrors the diversity of our communities
If we live the Community Action Promise and become a genuine brand, why is the logo so important? It is important because it identifies and differentiates us from every other social service organization. It is the image of the logo that triggers the feelings of trust, respect, confidence, etc. The organization delivers the Promise, but the logo visually ties us to the network of 1,000 Community Action Partnerships across the country. In order to build the brand that is recognized by anyone, anywhere in the country, we must bear some visual similarity. This is the where the analogy to Starbucks, Salvation Army, Saturn Automobiles, AARP, and other national organizations is valid. The logo for these organizations triggers the emotional reaction and makes sense for the organization. If the Promise is not delivered and people lose trust in the Community Action brand, then the logo triggers a negative emotion.
Strategy for Our Brand - Revisited
What are we doing to deliver the Community Action Promise every day? What are we doing to make sure everyone in Community Action understands HOW to deliver the Promise? Today there are hundreds of Community Action Agencies that deliver the Promise and understand the power of the positive emotional impact, whether the impact is local, statewide, or national. They understand that carrying the logo alone is not the answer - that is not enough.
When there is a story to be covered, a proposal to be funded, an organization to recognize, or a new alliance to develop, the Community Action Partnership can be the one that people consistently turn to.
For a copy of our logo in the format(s) of your choice, or for assistance with your new logo, contact Dini Stewart .