Debbie Millman on Branding for Social Change (

Learn how to build a strong brand aligned with your social mission and purpose.

Created by: Acumen Courses

Produced in 2018

What you will learn

  • Harness the power of branding to build a community around ideas and values.
  • Develop a strategic and authentic brand that is inclusive and makes people feel connected.
  • Learn about brand strategy, archetypes and what great brands do best.

Quality Score

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Course Depth & Coverage

Overall Score : 98 / 100

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Course Description

Brands signal our affiliations. At their best, they tell stories that define, differentiate and humanize organizations and indicate what companies stand for in the world. When executed well, brands can connect us with like-minded people and visions, reflect our values, inspire us to take action, or help us feel part of something bigger than ourselves.
For all these reasons, social enterprises and nonprofit organizations working on tackling the world's most critical challenges like poverty, climate change, sexual violence, or homelessness need to build strong brands. In our fast-moving and chaotic world, it matters more than ever that social change-makers learn how to cut through the noise and get other people to pay attention to their causes, services, and innovations.
In this self-paced +Acumen course, Debbie Millman will teach any social entrepreneur, nonprofit manager, or social change agent to build a compelling brand identity for their cause or initiative that will get others to sit up, pay attention, and feel connected.
What You'll Gain Access To:
  • 10 page workbook with activities that will help starting to build your brand
  • Tutorial videos
  • A dynamic forum to share your process with other brand-builders across the social sector
  • A Certificate for successful completion of all course requirements
  • The ability to revisit any section of the course as needed (the course is self-paced and starts whenever you have the time!)
About the Instructors:
Debbie Millman is an American writer, journalist, educator, artist, curator and designer who is best known as the host of the podcast Design Matters. She has authored six books including Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits and Brand Bible The Complete Guide to Building, Designing and Sustaining Brands. She is the current President Emeritus of AIGA, chair and co-founder of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and Editorial and Creative Director of Print magazine. Named "one of the most creative people in business" by Fast Company, and "one of the most influential designers working today" by Graphic Design USA, Debbie has worked with over 200 of the world's largest brands, including the redesign of Burger King, merchandising for Star Wars, and the positioning and branding of the No More movement.

Who this course is for:
  • Change-makers looking to develop strong brands
  • Curious learners looking to gain general knowledge about branding

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Acumen Courses

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $110 million in 102 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company's Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.
+Acumen is a global learning community for social change-makers. Be an effective force for change with Acumen's free online courses and chapters.



23 total reviews

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This was a very informative course about branding. The instructor provided useful information about brand equity, brand evolution, and brand architecture. I will be applying what I learned from this course when implementing brand strategies in the future.

Debbie is a great educator, she helped me connect the dots to the bits and pieces of information I've been getting on branding. . . Thanks guys

Very informative. The access to various pdfs. and reading material gave me an opportunity to dissect each section better.

This course was great. I love Debbie!

The course is short however anyone that does it can understand it. Quick takeaways, I even had a brand new vision for my idea while doing this course. Fantastic!

Another amazing offering by +Acumen. Top thinkers and practitioners in design share their cutting edge insights while making the world of design accessible to the lay person. The course highlights multiple case studies for some of the most iconic brands and brand strategies of today. Ever mindful of its lay person audience, instructor, Debbie Millman, helps to tease out the meaningful lessons as they might apply to smaller budgets and nonprofit boards. No matter the size of your social enterprise or nonprofit, you'll find new approaches to branding and never see a logo in the same way again!

This course is an entire journey through how Branding support organizations to fulfill their missions. I like a lot the interviews because they put on the table relevant insights of the processes and the importance for social change. Highly recommended!

The course was elaborate and in depth with real life case studies I could follow. Nicely put together and consolidated.

Wonderful course led by Debbie Millman. This course covers branding for legacy and startup business as well as for social enterprise & movements. This is an exciting lecture amplified by interviews of Debbie with some exciting colleagues, real professionals, just like herself, that provide further insights, stories, anecdotes, points of view which provide deep and enriching context. This is enlightening material on the history and present of branding, how it relates to our daily lives and in which context brands evolve. We can immediately apply the framework and deliverables presented. There are rich materials in the course and references stimulate further investigation. "Brands are owned by people who want to make a difference in the world". Start with this course and follow the path described ...

This course helped me to get clear about what change initiatives I want to bring and how to create my brand . I was able to understand branding in a short time because the information is relevant and well designed. Both change makers and designers ( because I wore both shoes) can learn applicable stuffs from this course.

This is a good course,I didn't realize branding was very important in social change and that it made all the difference.I thought putting logos in place was a priority but my perception has changed,Have learned a lot

Direct, relevant and to the point. It is so good to take A course given by someone who has really excelled in the industryWill be re-watching/re-taking this course a few times.