Five Mistakes That Social Entrepreneurs Make When Crafting Their Brand

Friday, August 14, 2015

As a brand developer, I’ve met countless social entrepreneurs all over the world: people with an extreme passion for social or environmental impact. They have a lot to master in order to make their ventures succeed – from setting up a production chain, to technology, HR, complex investment structures, and more.

Branding is yet another discipline to conquer, and though entrepreneurs see it as crucial, they often feel they lack the knowledge and skills to make it work for them. When entrepreneurs approach me, it is usually after having undertaken some form of branding on their own, and often they have run into difficulties.

Here are some common branding mistakes made by early-stage social entrepreneurs:

Mistake #1: Forgetting to build a solid value proposition into the brand, beyond social impact

Social entrepreneurs are often so passionate about their social and environmental impact that they forget to highlight the other value their product or service brings. This can be a risk when a competitor with the same impact goals comes along.

Whether you sell a solar-powered lamp, legal aid for all, or a piece of software, you need to be clear about the value of what you offer, and why a customer would choose your product over someone else’s.

Is your solar lamp a cheap way to power devices quickly while on the road, for example? That is the reason people will buy your product, talk about it, and gift it to others. For customers, the social and environmental impact may just be a big cherry on the cake.

Source: Skoll Foundation (link opens in a new window)

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