Brand Insights

For Health Science Executives

Knowing Your Biomedical Nonprofit’s Weaknesses Shows Strength

Knowing Your Biomedical Nonprofit’s Weaknesses Shows Strength

By Karan Cushman, October 29, 2014

How to use the principles of Leadership Marketing to keep your brand on course.

When was the last time you thought about your Biomedical Nonprofit’s weaknesses? Marketing Leaders who acknowledge the challenges and negative perceptions their brands face are much more likely to overcome those challenges.

If you want to grow your Biomedical Nonprofit’s brand from the inside out, here are 3 areas worth exploring with tactics to turn challenges around:

Know Where You’re Not Connecting
Many Biomedical Nonprofits find it challenging to communicate the value of their work to the public. This is not a weakness unless your institution retreats and becomes increasingly silent. A large part of successful Leadership Marketing is learning to listen to your audience, understanding their perception of your institution and responding in a way that builds trust. Remember, the view the public has of your institution may be very different from the view you wish they had. Not understanding or acknowledging the difference can create a communication gap that will diminish the power of your brand. You can avoid this disconnect by proactively engaging the public at events like Open Houses or through online forums, encouraging dialogue, and continually striving to be a partner to the community.

Understand Objections to Giving
Another challenge for Biomedical Nonprofits is responding to past donors who have new objections to giving. Before countering, listen for the truth behind their objections. As an example, when Institutions need open-ended funds for more exploratory research, they turn to donors, but some donors object to giving when they don’t know where those funds are going. Understanding the source of this resistance can help you overcome it. Often donors think of science as having a specific path, and they want to support it with targeted gifts, like funds for new lab equipment. Your job is to help them see how unrestricted funds give scientists the freedom they need to do cutting-edge work. Sharing success stories from open-ended research projects can capture their imaginations and inspire them to be partners in innovation.

Look for Internal Blind Spots
Your Communications or Development Team could be so close to the work that you no longer see certain weaknesses. Are there company-wide issues that are regularly cited as hurdles to success? You can find out by conducting an up-to-date SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. The SWOT analysis is designed to empower your team by uncovering weaknesses that you can turn into strengths. Once you have done a SWOT, gather your Biomedical Nonprofit’s decision-makers and address any issues head on. That may mean having a frank, open discussion about possible solutions or seeking an investment to turn things around. Not only will the effort raise spirits internally, you may hit on something your external audience has been aware of all along.

Thought-leading Biomedical Nonprofits are forward-thinking Institutions. Being honest about your challenges can help ensure that your brand reflects that. If you’d like more tips on how to conduct a SWOT to empower your Development Team, send me an email at I’ll send you a copy of my latest Whitepaper.


Tagged: Biomedical, Branding, Digital, Quality of Life

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