Salvation Army develops brand

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

What’s in a name? A concept, recognition and a promise.

The Salvation Army held a luncheon Friday at the office at 2104 Franklin St. to talk about who they are, what they are and how they are perceived by the public.

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Instead of being known as a thrift store or those Christmas bellringers, the Salvation Army has branded themselves as the people “doing the most good.”

The crowd dispersed from the dining area into the chapel where employees heard speakers and watched a slide show presentation on their new brand.

“This manifesto should be clearly written on our hearts so we’ll remember it,” Corps Officer Capt. Don New said.

A philosophy.

That’s what the branding is all about.

Community Relations and Development Director Juli Pattison used Hershey’s as an example of what it means to have a brand – not just a name.

She held up a miniature Hershey’s bar and said, “Hershey’s better not change its chocolate.”

“If I bite into it one day and it’s different, I’m gonna be pretty mad.”

Pattison demonstrated the concept of recognition and consistency.

“It’s not what’s in the wrapper, it’s (what’s) inside the heart,” Pattison said.

The point was, no matter how you look at it – whatever the brand – it should be what the brand has established itself to be. When one opens a Kleenex box, one doesn’t expect to find sandpaper.

“The brand is who we are,” Associate Director of Planned Giving Andrew Jenkins.

“The brand is what people think when they think Salvation Army.”

Officials said, from now on, the brand will be people doing the most good.

Any business or any person can appreciate another being what they say they are. Public Relations Director for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Mark Jones challenged each Salvation Army staff member to own the brand and walk away from their job each day knowing that they are what they say.

“Our promise and goal to the American people is to do the most good for them,” Jones said.

According to Jenkins, the Salvation Army has 300 distinct goods and services and 9,000 distribution services. And according to New, their international headquarters is in London, England, national headquarter is in Virginia, territorial division is in Georgia and divisions headquarters is in Mississippi.

“We need one message,” New said.

Doing the most good.

The message resonated.

It was even placed atop a cake at the luncheon.

Aside from driving the brand home, the staff had another item on the agenda.

A tray of brownies was adorned with five candles placed in rows of three and two and brought before Broad Street Salvation Army Cashier Brandy Goodman in celebration of her 32nd birthday.