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Branding Basics for Libraries


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An Ad/Lib project.

Slidedeck used for Library UX: Strategic Branding and Identity Development Webinar via Library Journal.

These slides cover: "what is a brand", "why is branding important", "what does the branding process look like". This general overview was then followed up in the webinar by two specific branding examples, one from Edmonton Public Library, and the other from Richland Library.

The notes (see below) include the script I spoke from during the webinar.

Published in: Marketing
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Branding Basics for Libraries

  1. 1. On Branding Andrew Colgoni, Services Librarian McMaster University, Hamilton, ON & creator Ad/Lib: @adlib_info |
  2. 2. What is a brand?
  3. 3. Logo Visual Identity Slogan Advertising Store Design & Layout Customer Service Quality of Product Mission & Promise Cost Ethics User Experience Availability
  4. 4. Personal Experiences Taste Preferences Opinions of Others External Trends Reputation Cultural Associations Media Coverage Historical Associations
  5. 5. What is a brand? “A brand is the amalgamation of all the different experiences and encounters a consumer has had with products, salespeople, marketing, advertising, and retail experiences (if there are retail stores). That’s why a brand is a promise…” (Leibtag, 2013)
  6. 6. Why brand? • Position organization within user’s lifestyle • Differentiate your product from competition • Foundation for marketing • Deliver consistent design and look/feel • Demonstrate relevancy to users • Define and lead conversation about your product / service • Say more with less (Doyle, 2011; Leibtag, 2013; Potter, 2012; Webber, 2007)
  7. 7. Telling the story of your library
  8. 8. branding From 20,000 feet in the air. In five steps.
  9. 9. 1. research Talk to your stakeholders: • Find out existing associations • “What three words do you associate…?” (Potter, 2012) • Discover apparent strengths • Understand future wants and needs
  10. 10. 2. Write your story • Back to basics: Mission and Values • What do you want people to think about when they think of your library? What will you want them to think in five years? Ten? Image credit: Armin Vit; Brand New rchives/the_lawrence_public_library.php
  11. 11. 3. Determine scope • Will you do a brand ‘refresh’ or total rebrand? • Will the branding rollout with: • Web redesign? • Marketing campaign? • Physical space changes? • Alternate service goals? • Etc. Wells County Public Library Rebrand was profiled on Ad/Lib:
  12. 12. 4. Find a designer • My advice: find a professional designer • Give them your research, tell them you story, outline the scope • Create something unique and memorable Image credit: Jef Catapang; Design Edge Canada library-turns-page-with-intent-rebrand/
  13. 13. “An abstract asterisk is the library’s new centrepiece icon, playing on the idea that an asterisk signals more to come.” (Catapang, 2014)
  14. 14. 5. Implement & Assess • Did you set measurable goals? • Gate counts • New membership • Check-outs • Event attendance • Media coverage • What will success mean for you? NYPL’s 2009 lion logo was redone in-house led by Art Director Marc Blaustein. Image credit: Armin Vit; Brand New es/an_iconic_lion_for_an_iconic_institution.php
  15. 15. refs Catapang, Jef. 2014. “Kitchener Public Library Turns Page with Intent Rebrand.” Designedge. Accessed October 8. turns-page-with-intent-rebrand/. Doyle, Charles. 2011. A Dictionary of Marketing. New York: Oxford University Press. Leibtag, Ahava. 2014. The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web. Waltham, MA: Elsevier. Potter, Ned. 2012. The Library Marketing Toolkit. London: Facet Publishing. Webber, Alan M. 2014. “What Great Brands Do.” Fast Company. Accessed October 8. do.