Best Friends earns Harris Poll EquiTrend honors for third time in six years

Every person and every company has something that they’re known for. For example, if I said to you, “Just do it,” you’d likely know that I’m talking about Nike. Or one of my favorites, “Think different.” Of course that’s the legendary slogan for Apple computers.

One of my signature characteristics, I guess you could say, is my inclination to cheer “Woo-hoo!” I do it all the time (often very loudly, and even at times when it’s less appropriate), and it’s become such a trademark over the years that these days I’m more likely to have someone yell it to me before I can open my mouth.

It wasn’t my intention to be the woo-hoo person. But businesses and nonprofits intentionally set out to create something that is memorable — especially in this world of information overload, full of advertisements and short attention spans. Regardless of whether these “identities” are inspiring, as in the case of Apple, or even sometimes annoying (“Can you hear me now?”), the right brand and message that cuts through the clutter can make or break you.

However, a brand is much more than a slogan, a logo or even a woo-hoo. A brand is a combination of a reputation, a promise and a personality. It’s what you come to expect from an organization or an individual based on your experience.

That’s why we are honored and thrilled to be able to announce that once again Best Friends has been named Animal Welfare Nonprofit Brand of the Year based on the 2016 Harris Poll EquiTrend score. This annual poll, taken through a random survey of the general public, measures the strength of a brand. The survey asks about many different things, such as how much you trust the organization, likelihood to recommend the organization to a friend, and brand momentum. Best Friends scored very highly in the answers to all these questions. This is our third top ranking in the last six years, and it is great news — not just for Best Friends, but for the no-kill movement overall.

As Francis Battista talked about in recent blog posts, we’re in the middle of a societal shift in how we relate to animals. The no-kill movement is not new, but when you step back and look at the forest instead of the trees, it’s easy to see this moment in time as the “coming of age” of the no-kill movement as the preferred approach to animal welfare.

I’m reminded of a fantastic piece Bloomberg news put together on the pace of social change. A handful of graphs illustrate the speed at which social movements have gained acceptance. Some took longer for their “moment,” but once Americans decided they wanted, say, women’s suffrage, it happened in very short order. We are on that cusp for no-kill, and the Harris Poll results confirm that.

Our message to Save them All is resonating. It’s not just some inspirational gobbledygook hashed out on Madison Avenue, nor is it an annoying, get-stuck-in-your-head slogan that will live with you until your dying breath. It’s a simple sentence that captures the heart-driven work that Best Friends and others have been doing for a long time. It’s a rallying call to the nation that says to every rescuer, to every citizen, that we have a job to do: work together to Save Them All. We know we can end the killing of cats and dogs in our nation’s shelters. That is no longer up for debate. We’ve reached the tipping point in this movement.

We owe it to them. Every single life deserves a chance. Let’s give it to them. Woo-hoo!

Let’s Save them All.

Julie Castle with Sunny the dog
Julie Castle
Best Friends Animal Society