August 5, 2016

Brand Clarity Mini Series

If I say the word “brand”, what do you think of? A logo? A product? A website? A name? While yes a brand does include those items, we believe that a brand is much more than that. Now, it’s not to say that those things aren’t important, but a brand is a living being, it evolves in the minds and hearts of the district. It’s a set of emotions and ideas that potential clients will associate with your district.

Some of you may feel that your district is having an identity crisis. Your district may be having one and not even be aware of it. Does your district have a core message that everyone knows? Is it simple and natural or forced and “politically correct”? Are people confused about what your district stands for and who you are? We’ve decided to help you navigate these waters with a mini-series on Brand Clarity. We want to give you the tools to help you make a positive impression and gain familiarity in your community.

Why a Good Brand is Important to Your Marketing Strategy

Disney’s core promise, “Make People Happy” the simple idea which it was launched, hasn’t changed since Walt Disney made it clear that it was to create happiness through magical experiences. Like Disney, your district needs to establish a meaning for your brand that consumers really care about, and districts need to be able to deliver on this idea brilliantly and consistently. In other words, your district must do what it takes to keep their promise, keep it relevant, and meet client expectations wherever they interact with the district. Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a district, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes engaging the community easier. It’s no secret that it’s easier to sell a brand you believe in yourself. A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a district’s client service, reputation, outreach, and logo. When all these things are working well, the overall district tends to be healthy.

1. Branding Improves Recognition

A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.

2. Branding Creates Trust

People are more likely to work with a district that appears legitimate and professional. Consider whether your district’s content helps clients solve a problem, or simply promotes your own services.

3. Branding Supports Advertising

Advertising is another component of your brand. Both the medium chosen and the demographic targeted for outreach builds a brand. Too narrow an advertising focus, and a district risks being “pigeon holed” and losing their ability to expand into new areas. Too broad a focus, and the district fails to create a definable impression of the district in the minds of would be clients.

4. Branding Builds Financial Value

A strong brand usually guarantees future business. The greater a district’s devotion to build its brand value, the better the financial return from its efforts.

5. Branding Inspires Employees

Employees need more than just work- they need something to work toward. When employees understand your mission and reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals you have set. Having a strong brand is like turning the district logo into a flag that the rest of the district can rally around.

6. Branding Generates New Clients

Branding enables your district to get referral business. As the most profitable advertising source, word of mouth referrals are only possible in a situation where your district has delivered a memorable experience with your client.

What to look forward to…

September- How to Develop a Vision & Mission Statement
October- Finding & Developing Your Target Audience
November- Visual Communication

Questions & Comments

We want you to know that the PR/Marketing Committee is here to help YOU. Please don’t be shy, we love “stupid” questions!

Have an idea, suggestion, or comment? Reach out to us! We’re always looking for feedback on how we can be better and make marketing easier for you.

Email the VASWCD staff or the marketing committee at marketing@vaswcd.org or contact committee chairman Derwin Booker. And as always, your VASWCD office is always willing to help!