Open Brand Can Be a New Key Motivator of Nonprofit Start-Ups
With several years experience in providing branding service to nonprofit projects and understanding the sharing economy and Creative Commons, I have developed a model called Open Brand Standard, consisting of four core principles: Brand Commons, Open Branding Service, Brand Heroes, and Open Media.
I have proposed that the current traditional brand ecosystem includes four roles—brand owners, brand agencies, customers, and media—that can transform into a new level of performance under the Open Brand Standard. Brand owners can not only adopt Creative Commons for their contents but also allow their fans to build a tribute brand project. For example, TED launched the TEDx program to allow active TED fans to organize independent TEDx events.
TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a conference, gathering the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers to disseminate their ideas. TEDx is a program that enables schools, businesses, libraries or just groups of friends to enjoy a TED-like experience. Events they themselves organize, design and host. Examples of events include TEDxBoston, TEDxDubai, TEDxNYED and TEDxChange. As of 2010, some 750 TEDx events are scheduled to happen in over 60 countries.
Except for the TEDx program, TED allows the TEDtoChina project and the TEDify project (www.TEDify.org) to use the TED logo as independent TED tribute projects.
The TEDtoChina project was founded on October 25, 2008, as an independent TED tribute project that uses the TED logo with permission from TED. Operating as a free culture project and an education project, TEDtoChina aims to distribute TED’s inspiring and enlightening ideas to China. We hope to foster citizen spirit that can be a force for good in local communities. Be part of the change—that is a resonating idea at TED—and we want to bring this idea to people through our coverage. It is currently managed and supported by English and Chinese bilingual volunteers from regions such as mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, U.S.A, Australia, UK, etc.
Some differences exist between the TEDtoChina project and TEDx events. TEDx organizers are guided by the TEDx program, but the TEDtoChina team makes all decisions on the development of the project. TEDx events create a short-term event effect, but TEDtoChina makes a long-term impact. Because we are not an official branch of TED and not guided by a TEDto program, we run TEDtoChina as a free and open brand that encourages our entrepreneurship to grow the project.
I wish more international nonprofit projects and organizations could develop their Brand Commons programs as TED has done. I believe this is a new way to connect local social changemakers and global nonprofit brand owners.