Brand Wwf Essay

5307 words - 22 pages

Embracing DNA, Expanding Horizons: The Panda Turns Fifty
Sherine Jayawickrama
December 2011

Produced for discussion at the Role of Brand in the Nonprofit Sector conference on December 8, 2011, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Embracing DNA, Expanding Horizons: The Panda Turns Fifty
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was established fifty years ago to save endangered species from extinction. The first WWF office was established in Switzerland in April 1961 and the second was established in the United States in December of that year. Fifty years later, WWF is one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, operating in more than 100 countries and employing more ...view middle of the document...

“Pay close attention to the moment an organization is born. Your core DNA is established in that moment,” he says. “We were born fifty years ago to mount global coordinated campaigns to engage the world’s attention to save species and places far, far away.” Roberts points out that global coordination and species conservation are still central to WWF’s mission. He says charismatic species (like tigers, polar bears or pandas) provide a compelling point of entry into more complex matters like degradation of habitats and unsustainable corporate environmental practices. WWF US’ Chief Operating Officer Marcia Marsh agrees. “At fifty years, [the panda] is a summation of our values, what we stand for and what we’ve done during that period of time,” she says. “Our brand is the single greatest asset that our network has and it’s what keeps everyone together.” WWF’s work has grown to encompass protecting species and habitat, conducting scientific research, working with communities on conservation, helping tip markets toward sustainability, promoting responsible laws and policies, and engaging individuals to change their consumption behaviors. If WWF’s work is complex, the problems it is trying to solve are daunting. To make a difference, WWF’s efforts must be more strategic, more impactful and at larger scale. Roberts, Marsh and their colleagues believe that the WWF brand can be leveraged more extensively to deliver on the organization’s ambitions.

Clarifying Vision and Mission, Recalibrating Strategy
WWF International, based in Gland, Switzerland, serves as the international secretariat of the WWF network. In this role, it coordinates international campaigns, fosters global partnerships and licenses the WWF logo and brand to offices in the network. The WWF network is guided by a Global Program Framework and twin goals—focused on conserving biodiversity and reducing humanity’s ecological footprint—to be achieved by 2020 and 2050. To advance the biodiversity goal, WWF focuses on preserving priority species and priority places that are particularly important for biodiversity conservation. The footprint goal seeks to reduce the negative impacts of human activity by managing natural resources sustainably and equitably. Within this framework, WWF US focuses on conserving fifteen of the world’s most ecologically important regions through a combination of field programs, corporate partnerships, scientific research and policy advocacy. This strategy, developed seven years ago, was recently revisited by a three-person staff team. This process concluded that WWF US’ original strategy was largely on track. However, the recalibrated strategy recognized several trends—such as the decline of political support for environmental issues in the United States, and the increasing importance of Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, South Africa and Mexico geopolitically and in terms of rising consumption—that shape the challenges WWF must confront in



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