Here is a simple brand development metric.

Over the years, I have noticed three basic responses from people in Sweden when I tell them I work for Operation Mercy. They say either, “Who?”, “Oh” or “Wow!” Let me explain:

“WHO?” This is the response from people who have never heard of Operation Mercy.

“Oh” This is the response from people who have heard of Operation Mercy (or are too embarrassed to admit they have not heard of it) but don’t really know what Operation Mercy is about.

“Wow!” This is the response from people who have a good impression of Operation Mercy and would be happy to be associated with it.

Operation Mercy (OPM) is a medium sized (300 worldwide staff) international relief & development organization headquartered in Örebro, Sweden’s sixth largest city. OPM has program offices in 12 countries in Central Asia and the Middle East, and have an array of amazing programs, you are not likely to have heard of us unless you are part of the NGO world in Tajikistan, Iran, or Afghanistan where over half of OPM’s staff are located.

So, in spite of having several world renowned field programs, the fact remains that in Sweden, Operation Mercy has remained a “Who?” or an “Oh.” for way too many years. I am happy to report that is starting to change. Our partner development team have been telling our story in every possible venue in and around Örebro. Everyone I know who has heard OPM’s story is impressed by how our NGO does so much good with such little overhead in some of the most difficult places on earth. And now, increasingly, when I tell people I work for Operation Mercy, they respond, “Wow!” That’s what I want to hear. Since we are already partnering to create great outcomes, getting from “who” to “wow” is really all about telling our story in more and more places. Have you heard our story? I bet you’ll say “wow!” when you do.