Does this Marketoonist cartoon on brand guidelines seem familiar?
So often the idea of "brand" is that it's created by following inflexible guidelines, enforced by "brand police."
Depending on the level of detail of the brand guidelines and the inflexibility of the brand police who enforce them, you can never be more urgent, more happy, more sad, more worried -- more anything -- than the brand allows.
In a quest for consistency, you end up with uniformity. Which is death for fundraising, because fundraising is an unending quest to "interrupt" the normal flow of events in donors' lives and get them to stop and care about the need of the moment.
Marketoonist suggests a different approach to branding:
Instead of brand police, we should be more like brand sherpa: experienced guides that help our creative partners climb higher.
I like that. It gets what we need from branding -- consistency, clarity, unity -- without the mindless uniformity that seems to happen.