The American Red Cross Branding Strategies


Nonprofit organizations are rapidly growing in number across the world. However, the same cannot be said of donor and funding institutions. Therefore, there is stiff competition for funds among nonprofits. To effectively compete for funds from donors, it is essential that an organization carves and sells a positive image. Effectively, many organizations are nowadays adopting various branding strategies that are aimed at selling their stories to donors. The American Red Cross is one such organization that puts a premium on its logo, tagline, mission statement, and values. It has revamped itself as not just a disaster and relief organization but also an entity committed to making the world a better place.

The American Red Cross logo is the most visible thing about the organization. The superimposing image of a red cross communicates crucial and significant aspects of the organization. It tells its rich heritage and symbolizes a sense of belonging, engagement, and participation. It must be noted that the logo’s identity was refreshed a decade ago to position the organization as grassroots oriented and able to connect the current generation with its heritage. This was meant to invite them to fully take part in the organization’s activities. Therefore, the logo is aimed at encouraging people to reach out either as volunteers or donors to help in whichever capacity they can. The logo indeed brands the organization and appeals to donors to assist where necessary.


The American Red Cross appeals to its prospective donors that even though they are engaged in devastating work, their intention is to uplift people and make a difference in their lives. They are, therefore, inviting anyone to join them on their free volition to assist. By uplifting and inviting, they create a brand identity of an organization that is not only reaching out but also reachable as well.

The American Red Cross reassures its prospective donors that by assisting the organization, they are not only empowering Red Cross but themselves as well. As part of the funding team, one joins a network of individuals who have deliberately decided to make a difference in people’s lives in their times of need. This is a very strong message that definitely draws more donors to the organization. The organization also maintains that it recognizes the contributions of the donors at a personal level.

Mission Statement

This mission statement primarily focuses on the beneficiaries of the services offered by the organization. This is an indication that the American Red Cross has placed a lot of value on the people. Donors will definitely want to donate when they are assured that their monies are going to help the needy as intended and not end up in the pockets of the corrupt. The organization has aptly captured this in its mission statement.

The mission statement has three components that serve to brand the organization further. It reinforces its core mandate of improving the welfare of communities by restoring their social and economic well-being after disasters. It also carries out blood donations and food distribution exercises to affected populations. To achieve this, it requires resources that it mobilizes from well-wishers. This is an identity that appeals to donors to want to be associated with the organization.


The overall success of the American Red Cross is anchored in these core values. They play an instrumental role in ensuring that the organization remains stable and has a significant presence in the world. The organization constantly encourages people to put much focus in helping others. This is a brand identity that everyone would like to identify with.

The strength and significance of the American Red Cross are reflected in the principles upon which it operates. The values of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service and unity are what define the American Red Cross. They make the organization stand out and communicate its brand identity to the world. Through these particular values, the organization reinforces that it is not for profit, hence, relies on goodwill.

How well have branded” services?

The American Red Cross recognized the significance of brand identity and revamped itself in the year 2012. it began this by redesigning its logo in such a way that it retained its heritage but also targeted the next generations with its messages of help. The organization has thus invited its employees, and prospective donors and volunteers to come on board through strategically designed messages of brand identity. It is clear that a new generation of donors might not find some of its past messages appealing. Hence, the need to rebrand in order to appeal to them.

A lot of the organization’s information is found on its website. This justifies the idea why a lot of efforts were directed towards designing a user-friendly website that will not only tell its stories but also appeal to prospective investors and invite them to affiliate with it. The website has well-designed graphics, photography, and a logo that makes it appealing to visitors, including prospective donors.

Recommendations for Change

Although the American Red Cross has put in incredible efforts to ensure that its brand identity is felt by the outside world, there are still a lot that it can do. It should first set clear brand identity objectives that will give it directions. This is partly because it has various groups of donors that must be appealed to differently. Additionally, the organization’s brand strategies must be well communicated to its stakeholders, particularly its staff and volunteers, since they are the organization’s first brand ambassadors. It is also important to conduct an audit exercise to ascertain the practicability of the strategies and rectify areas of need.


Bernritter, S. F., Verlegh, P. W., & Smit, E. G. (2016). Why Nonprofits Are Easier to Endorse on Social Media: The Roles of Warmth and Brand Symbolism. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 33, 27-42.

Brand identity at a glance. (n.d). American Red Cross.

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