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Revelation

THE RUSSO GROUP – CHANGING THE CONVERSATION


THE NEWSLETTER OF
THE RUSSO GROUP
VOLUME TWO- NUMBER ONE

A Shining Revelation
IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE :

FEATURE ARTICLE: The Art of Branding a Cause


Chances are good that you’ve either donated your time
at some point in your life, or written a check when asked
to donate toward a worthy cause. But have you ever truly
gotten involved?

RUSSO PROFILE
Candy Domengeaux, Senior Account Executive
Candy’s career has spanned different agencies and an array
of different titles. She returns to Louisiana with the industry
knowledge of an advertising super hero.

A RUSSO RESULTS CASE STUDY: No. 00587-09


Bringing it home! One of our latest Rebranding Initiatives:
Downtown Lafayette – Where Lafayette Happens.

GALLERY R DOWNTOWN SPOTLIGHT


Gallery R, located in the Russo building in the heart of Downtown
Lafayette, is committed to the work of both emerging and established
local artists throughout Southwest Louisiana.

Next month’s featured artist – Lorre Clark

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Revelation
THE ART OF BRANDING A CAUSE

Chances are good that you’ve either donated your time at some point in your life, or written a check when asked to donate
toward a worthy cause. But have you ever truly gotten involved?

Our job, as a branding agency, is to build loyal followings for our clients. When that organization happens to be cause-
oriented, we work hard to find those who will not only cut a check blindly, but also those who will invest their heart and soul
behind the cause. Yes, there is often little money involved with not-for-profit agencies, but as Mr. Albert Einstein said, “It is
every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”

So how does one build a brand for a not-for-profit organization or a cause, while building a strong base of
loyal followers and advocates?

Well, first off, you have to stop thinking of yourselves as a not-for-profit, and start believing that you are, in fact, a business.
I know this sounds harsh, but in today’s world, we have to fight for attention, awareness and money. You have to also
understand your competition – and make no mistake, you have competition.

Competition for not-for-profits is growing every day as more and more organizations join the fight to better the world.
While this may be good for society, it is problematic when everyone is dipping into the same pool. Throw in a troubled
economy and an audience that appears to have lost faith in charitable organizations, and you have a more than a few
challenges to deal with. (continued on next page)

A few not-for-profit identities developed by Russo

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The art of branding a cause... CONTINUED

In order to rise above the noise and make your voice heard, you must first identify your audience, and no, your audience
is not “everyone” with a pulse. You have to seek out those who will connect most with your mission and cause. These core
members of your tribe will provide the advocacy that no ad campaign or billboard can provide.

Next, you need to identify your promise – a single point of differentiation, or a difference that can be authentically claimed
and delivered. It is, in effect, the essence of the brand itself. If the experience as a whole does not support your promise,
then the brand will either suffer, or at best, fail to build loyalty and advocacy. Once your promise is established, you need
to find your voice and work to “change the conversation.”

Your voice is your identity, or your personality as it is viewed by the world. It establishes a consistent delivery of your
message that will resonate with your core audience. Changing the conversation then provides the public with a way to
easily understand how your mission can enhance their lives and the lives of those within their community. While we cannot
mandate how our audience feels, we can influence their behavior – by giving them something to connect on an emotional
level with your brand.

There is so much more that goes into building a strong brand, but hopefully this will get you thinking about the possibilities
that are out there – but there is a catch. You can’t do this on your own.

As good stewards of donors’ money, or the lack of funds in general, many not-for-profit agencies attempt to do everything
themselves, or hire a board member’s best friend’s niece to develop their brand. The problem is, you get what you pay for,
and being that you are paying nothing, that is generally what you get.

Now, I am not suggesting you go into debt hiring an agency, but I am saying that you should be prepared to spend
something. Most agencies will be more inclined to donate their time when something (anything) is offered in return. Our
agency charges pennies on the dollar when we work with not-for-profits. We do this to level the playing field by forcing
not-for-profit agencies to respect the value of our work, and never abuse our time – the number one reason most reputable
firms refuse to take on charity work.

The value of a strong brand is worth as much as the building you are housed in, and if your roof is caving in, you
would want a professional to fix it – same principle applies when you are looking to improve your brand.

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INSIDE - R NEWS

B R A N D I N G FO R N O N - P RO F I T S - W H Y I T ’S I M P O RTA N T
Branding for Non-Profits - Why It’s Important by Jerry Stifelman, The Change, Chapel Hill, NC on 05.11.08 Business & Politics (news)

branding-for-non-profits.jpg. The essence of branding is developing a clear identity for the messenger -- as opposed to marketing,

which merely focuses on the message. However, in the non-profit sector, branding frequently falls by the wayside.

– Jerry Stifelman | founder and creative director of The Change (Click here to read more)

B R A N D I N G F O R N O N - P RO F I T S - W H Y I T ’S I M P O R TA N T

In short, competition for dwindling resources is becoming more ferocious than ever. It’s not enough to simply be good at what you do –

you have to differentiate your organization from similar organizations. (clip) There are no quick fixes in creating a solid brand image.

It takes time, effort, coordination, collaboration, consistency and resources. For many organizations, this may represent an entirely new

approach to promoting themselves.

– Larry Checco | President of Checco Communications (Click here to read more)

D O N O N - P RO F I T S H AV E VA L U E ?

Why would a nonprofit go through the trouble of valuing its brand? Establishing the value of a nonprofit brand can open the door to

co-branding, licensing, and partnering opportunities. Additionally, it allows one to determine reasonable spending on marketing and

offers a point from which to explain the power of the brand.

– Robin D. Rusch | Brand Channel.com (Click here to read more)

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RUSSO PROFILE

Candy Domengeaux, Senior Account Executive

Candy’s career has spanned different agencies and an array of different titles. She returns to Louisiana with
the industry knowledge of an advertising super hero.

Candy graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington, and shortly after worked as a copywriter for Hit
Entertainment.

She then moved on to the position of Communications Manager for Baylor Health Care System. Here, Candy was responsible for the
internal communications of Baylor and the HR budget. Additionally, Candy collaborated with Baylor’s Agency of Record to create an
award-winning HR brand and communication plan.

Before returning home to Louisiana, Candy worked as Account Director for TMP Worldwide, the largest independent agency focused
on recruitment advertising and communications on a global scale.

Candy has directed clients such as 7-Eleven, Six Flags and Pizza Hut in branding, interactive, creative, retention, diversity and media
strategies and has also helped to develop work for several television icons, such as – Barney, The Wiggles and Veggie Tales. In
addition, Candy developed campaigns for Nokia, Motorola, Mission Foods, AT&T, Smirnoff, Perrier and Ozarka.

“I was nervous at first about returning home to Louisiana after so many years, but looking back on the
past few months, I could not have made a better decision. Russo has surpassed my expectations, and I feel
like I have truly found a home here at the agency. The work we do here is second to none, and I don’t think
I have ever laughed as much.” – Candy Domengeaux

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Revelation
C HANGI NG T H E C ONVE RSAT ION C A SE STUDY: No. 00600 - 06

DOWNTOWN LAFAYETTE – Lafayette, Louisiana (Complete Branding Initiative)

What Changed? In addition to a much needed brand evolution, Russo developed the “I Am Downtown” initiative to
help build ownership within the Downtown community, as well as the city and region as a whole. This grassroots effort
of “believers” allowed the Downtown community to have a stronger voice as it continued to promote positive change.
To Learn more about this branding initiative and others, visit Changing the Conversation at: therussogroup.com

T SU N AM I – D OWN T OWN L AFAY E TTE

MICHELE EZELL –

RESTAURANTEUR/ OWNER TSUNAMI


Michele didn’t just jump into restaurant
proprietorship. After all, in a city like
Lafayette, one known for its cuisine, your
food can’t just be good; it has to be great. So
Michele carefully considered her menu, her
decor, and most importantly - her location.

“We never looked anywhere other than


Downtown Lafayette,” says Michele Ezell,
owner of Tsunami Downtown. “We knew
our restaurant needed to be in an environment
where people felt creative - where people could
park and walk through Downtown Lafayette
as they decompressed from work. Basically, I
wanted to be part of this community, and I
know the people who connect most with our
atmosphere and food would be the same people
enjoying the Downtown experience.”

FOR MORE OF E VE RY TH I N G ABOUT YOU R DOWNTOWN


V I S I T : D O W N T O W N L A FAY E T T E .O R G

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Revelation
CONTACT RUSSO

We would love to hear from you, whether you’re ready to jump right in, or you need to learn a little more about us. Perhaps you
just need someone to talk to. We’re good at that too. Either way, we look forward to speaking with you about your needs, and getting to
work on changing your conversation, and improving your brand.

Phone: 337.769.1530 • E-mail: branding@therussogroup.com


Website: www.TheRussoGroup.com Blog: www.razorbrandingblog.com

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TH IS MONTH AT GALLE RY R DOWNTOWN

possibilities (pahs•uh•bil•uh•teez) n.
1. Things that may happen or be the case.

Lorre Clark Downtown ArtWalk | May 9, 2009

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