September 26, 2017
    Why Brand Identity Matters for Associations
    06/22/2017

     What exactly is brand identity? (Spoiler alert: it’s more than just a logo.)

    If you can’t accurately define it, aren’t sure how to explain it, but are pretty sure it might be important, could you even come up with brand identity for your association?

    Yes. As a matter of fact, you’re probably further along in the process than you realize. It’s just a matter of analyzing what elements are already in place and what is needed to complement those items.

    Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Oh, we have a brand identity. We created a new logo last year.”

    Good, you’re already on your way to making sure you have an established brand. The logo is a critical component. It is the foundation of a brand and gives a visual of your organization’s identity.

    But what about the rest? What exactly is brand identity?

    Branding Basics

    Branding gives people a mental impression of your association. It makes your organization both recognizable and memorable. 

    “Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.” – Small Business Encyclopedia, entrepreneur.com

    Define Your Brand

    Defining your association’s brand can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. The easiest way is to ask yourself the following questions:

    - What are the benefits, features, and unique aspects of your association’s products or services?

    - What do your members and prospective members already think of your association?

    - What qualities do you want them to associate with your association?

    Be honest in your answers. Authenticity is key in reaching your target market.

    So, where do you go from here? You’ve successfully defined your brand; the next step is to capture that definition with a brand identity.

    Establish Your Brand Identity

    A brand identity should communicate your association’s promise, look, attributes, and personality. Yes, even personality. Business may be the name of the game, but don’t forget that businesses are made up of people, and people inherently operate on an emotional level.

    Creating a brand identity begins with a variety of elements:

    Name: the word or words (e.g. Coca-Cola or Coke)

    Logo: the visual trademark (e.g. Quaker Oats Quaker man)

    Tagline: a catchphrase or slogan (e.g. “Snap, Crackle, Pop” – Rice Krispies)

    Graphics: a clear and effective picture (e.g. Nike swoosh)

    Colors: Owens-Corning is the only brand of fiberglass insulation that can be pink.

    Sounds: a set of notes denoting a brand. (e.g. McDonald’s I’m Lovin’ It)

    Remember, brand identity creates the foundation for the rest of your marketing and brand strategy, so it’s wise to think through and plan yours carefully.

    This article is provided courtesy of GrowthZone – the smarter AMS with built-in sales funnel management designed to help busy associations drive growth, empower their members, and do more in less time.

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