Branding in Real Terms – Repositioning After Komen

As reported this week by the New York Times and scores of outlets around the country, the Susan B. Komen Foundation is scaling back on races in 2014.  In real terms, this means that thousands of women will be unable to walk in cities close to home and millions of dollars will potentially be withheld from critical cancer research.

We can all speculate on the exact reason for the cancellations, but most are pretty certain that it all stems from the backlash on Planned Parenthood and politics.  While other blogs and media write about how Komen can revive its foundering brand, we are looking at the competition.  Here are some tips for other non-profits considering filling the gap:

  • Develop a strong leadership platform for spokespeople. While Nancy Brinker continues to be vilified, it’s a real opportunity for other organizations to find a strong leadership voice.
  • If Planned Parenthood and free mammograms are the issues that impacted Komen’s brand, then partnerships with organization’s doing this work are a must.  If not in a partnership form, then consider increasing awareness around services under this umbrella.
  • Increase online advertising in underserved markets for 2014 – it’s where participants, major funders and individual donors reside.  The markets are hurting right now, so filling the gaps with potential options is critical in 2013.  There’s nothing like a Facebook ad that says “join us!”

We all want more research dollars to flow to curing this disease.  Let’s face it – all of us know someone personally impacted.  Moving forward is critical and that means repositioning brands to meet the demand. You go ladies!