01 Jun 2012

Branding Done Right

Several years ago, I was introduced to a group called the Denver Active 2030 Club (DA2030.com) by a friend of mine. They were a group of young professionals that ran an organization committed to raising money for local at-risk youth. After being sidetracked for the last couple of years, I finally joined the group this past year and have started contributing to mission these last few weeks.

I have been involved in many volunteer and non-profit organizations, but I have to tell you, the Denver Active group is very impressive. Although the membership is completely voluntary, members are responsible for certain fundraising goals every year. This sense of accountability weeds out potential members who have ulterior motives, aren’t committed to the cause or are too busy to contribute.

Running a non-profit that depends on volunteerism as their work force is very challenging endeavor. The very nature of a non-paid work staff puts into play a very different management strategy of motivation and administration. In a traditional work environment, if an employee isn’t doing their job, you fire and replace them. In a non-profit, it is much more complicated since most non-profits struggle for manpower.

DA2030 has created such a respected brand that members have a real sense of belonging and are not only proud of the work they do, but also identify with being associated with the organization. It is definitely a badge of honor and a mark of distinction. This brand of a top-notch organization with the reputation of first-rate membership extends into the fundraising events they host.

The two major events DA2030 hosts are the Barn Party (DenverBarnParty.com) and the Denver Polo Classic (DenverPolo.com). Both are known around the area as well run, elaborate affairs that are targeted to two different audiences. The Barn Party attracts the younger, wilder set that is looking for a bit of a rowdy time. The Polo Classic brings in both singles and families, but also attracts business people entertaining their clients. Both events ensure a good time while providing attendees with first class food, drink and entertainment. Sponsors include Schomp BMW, Grey Goose and Del Frisco’s Steakhouse (who is one of the caterers of the Polo Classic).

They extend this branding throughout the events by ensuring membership is dressed (and acting) appropriately, addressing attendees needs and maintaining the ambiance of the events (by doing the inglorious tasks such as keeping up with the trash). Members know to put egos aside and focus on the task: putting on a great event for great people while doing great work.

DA2030 is a great example of how an organization should make their brand a priority. An organization’s brand is the single most important asset they have. It should be extended into every facet of their organization and be invested in heavily. DA2030 invests in their brand by vesting their potential membership, guiding that membership in how to represent that brand, spending necessary (and hard earned) money into their web and social media presences and having marketing material professionally designed. In addition, partnering with brands such as Grey Goose and Sullivan’s Steakhouse shows the dedication they have to that brand and only reinforces it. DA2030 is a great example of an organization who cares and sees value in their reputation and brand.

Adam O’Leary, President


Adam is a graduate of Colorado State University (bachelor’s degree in marketing), and he has experience on both the client and agency side of the marketing world. These experiences led him to come up with a unique, more efficient business model, which he’s incorporated into Encite Marketing. Adam sets the strategic direction for all Encite projects, developing integrated marketing campaigns that bring results. He takes a consultative approach with clients, educating them about how the process works, and keeping them in the loop about end goals, steps, and tasks.