This Is Branding: Tim Tells The Difference

A child sponsorship organization I’d never heard of before today is blogging from Guatemala this week. As soon as I discovered them I wanted to know more about what they do. And Tim gave me the information I needed.

Tim Høiland, one of Lemonade International‘s bloggers (#LIBloggers on Twitter), wrote these words on day one of his trip to Guatemala…

At that time I was working for a behemoth of an NGO (a good behemoth, generally speaking), and while I certainly recognized the potential impact of a multi-billion dollar budget allocated for relief, development, and advocacy among the world’s poor, I was becoming more and more interested in organizations small enough to be relational and focused enough to have a tangible impact in a specific community over time.

What’s the difference between Lemonade International and other child sponsorship organizations? “small enough to be relational and focused enough to have a tangible impact in a specific community over time.”

This is branding. Really good branding. Tim understands what makes Lemonade International different, told me about that difference and tied a positive outcome to that difference.

Here it is again…


I once heard someone working for another child sponsorship organization describe themselves as “pretty much the same as Compassion International – we’re a child sponsorship organization.”

I wondered if he also thought…a Prius is pretty much the same thing as a Porshe. Tolstoy is pretty much the same thing as Seth Godin. An iPhone is pretty much the same thing as a Galaxy S3. Savannah College of Art & Design is pretty much the same thing as Harvard. Coke is pretty much the same as Dr.Pepper.

Cars. Authors. Smart phones. Schools. Soft drinks. All pretty much the same, right?

No way!

All may be great in their product classes, but none are the same. If two products are the same, one of them is unnecessary. Consumers want and need to know what makes each product different.

World Vision is better at global disaster relief than any other child sponsorship org I know of – hands down. Compassion International is committed to child development by working only through the local church. And Lemonade International is intensely focussed on community development in one community in one city in Guatemala.

Different. Diverse. One-of-a-kinds!

And saying so isn’t something to shy away from. It’s good branding!

As a marketer, I’m gonna do it. As a consumer, I need anyone selling me something to do it too.

Thank you, Tim, for telling us the difference.