When we first started working with associations on branding and developing branded material and media, we came up with an approach that many found (and still find) useful. It has helped our clients organize their thinking around the evaluation of their current branding efforts. It’s by no means a comprehensive approach to branding (that’d be a much longer and more detailed article), but it certainly is a good starting point .
So, let me introduce you to Visuality’s C’s of branding: clarity, consistency, and commitment. I’ll break them down so that you get a better idea of how each applies to your organization’s branding endeavors…
Clarity: Take a look at some of the branded material that your association puts out on a regular basis. Does your brand shine through? If you’re not sure how to evaluate that, think about brands like Harley Davidson, United Way of America, Apple and others. They are all very good examples of businesses and organizations that focus on providing great brand clarity on every piece of material or media.
Consistency: All of your material should have a uniform look and feel to it. Are you using consistent brand language, graphics, etc.? Do you see the same typefaces on print material that you have on your Web properties? Is your logo/mark being used in accordance with your usage and standard guidelines?
Commitment: This is more of an internal question aimed at leadership and others in charge of the branding process. Do you have a clear plan for your brand? Do you evaluate your brand and all related material on a regular basis? Without a solid commitment to branding, and that includes enforcing your brand standards, you cannot expect to reap the benefits that you deserve.
Again, this is intended to be a simple starting point as you consider your association’s brand and all related efforts. Apply our three C’s of branding to your association and let me know how you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you! (Jay@visuality.com)