Thursday, September 29, 2005

Trump Your Image

Jami gave us the basics of branding (check back for the powerpoint presentation, once we can get it downloaded).
Jami is the Public Relations Supervisor with the Kansas City Public Library, a Wichita native, a World traveler, and has a Master's in Marketing from the University of Kansas.

So, do you know what Volvo stands for? Do you know your message or identity? Do you know what your library stands for? What's your emotional connection with the community?

Does your logo look as good and recognizable in black and white as it does in color?

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This is from the questions and answer session...I typed as fast as I could, but some paraphrasing took place. Check back tomorrow for the How-To portion.

Q: Who do you get input from? A: Depends on the size of your library, but it's important to get input from the Board. Involve staff in the "Discovery" process of determining or identifying the one message everybody will be communicating. Involve key supporters and friends.

Q: How difficult is it to manage branding in a multi-branch system, like Kansas City? A: Pretty difficult. The Kansas City Public Library just recently changed their brand, so getting it used (logo and fonts) throughout the system is a challenge--make sure old materials are destroyed, so they aren't used when there is a new logo. Have a launch event - out with the old, in with the new. Communication is the most important aspect when branding - have them repeat it back to you because everyone is a marketer in a library.

Q: Is it appropriate to have different brands within a library? A: Yes, create sup-brands for groups such as Friends or Foundations. It needs to be in-line with your brand--the look, font, colors, etc. should be the same. Use different names to target different customer groups, such as teens.

Q: How much do you use it in the interior of the Library? A: Right now at KCPL, the Central Library is the only building fully using the logo for interior design. Materials use the same logo, but at some point the entire system will use the same logo. The only exception is the Plaza Branch, which uses different colors and the management of this branch is still being worked out. Plaza now has a separate brand, but typically this is not recommended. It detracts from the consistent message of the organization.

Q: How do you go about selecting a marketer or graphic designer to help you? A: If you know what direction you know you want to go, then create a document that communicates what you feel the essence of your library is. Then consult with those individuals in your community with marketing skills. Having a marketing consultant work with an architectural consultant during new building construction would help with color selection and be a more holistic approach to branding. Advertising agencies often do pro-bono work, so ask! (Bibliography below)

No matter what your size, you have an identity in your community. If you don't know what that is, you need to find out! Know what importance you hold in your community and then figure out how to convey that.

Discussion time :-)
Q: What are some key questions that you might find 2 or 3 words that would become the logo or slogan? A: Jami handed out a sample survey with open ended questions.
Have some focus groups with refreshments at different times to hit the different groups in your library who you think you want to be using your library. Survey your staff, as well. Let staff give their opinions about library customer service and the library image (good for staff morale). Also do a customer satisfaction survey and possibly have a Board retreat to discuss the library's image and message.

Bibliography:
Promote Like a Pro: small budget, big show by Linda F. Radke (ISBN: 1877749362)
Emotional Branding: How successful brands gain the irrational edge by Daryl Travis (ISBN: 076152911X)
Bulding Strong Brands by David A. Aaker (ISBN: 002900151X)
Brand aid: an easy reference guide to solving your toughest branding problems and strengthening your market position by Brad VanAuken (ISBN: 0814406815)

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