Your association’s brand has 5 elements. We tend to heavily focus on look. How does our website look? How do those brochures look? Look is just one of five elements – all of which are critically important.
1. Look is the colors, design, photographic style, illustrations, logo, patterns and fonts that you use on your website, brochures, printed materials, signs, email templates and published materials. The more consistent you can be with your look across everything your association creates the stronger your brand and the more recognizable your association will be.
2. Products are all the things you offer your members – benefits as well as non-dues revenue services. Count research reports, conferences, webinars, advocacy and articles as your products. If you have a product that is not doing as well as you think there are two possible problems. Your members may not perceive that the product solves their problem or they just don’t know about the product.
3. Brand promise is when you can articulate the emotions you hope your target members will feel about your organization. This is extremely hard to do which is why you see the best customer service companies investing heavily in recruiting, training and retaining staff that lives the brand promise.
4. Story is telling the story that your members want to hear. It is understanding their worldview. Too often we tell the story we want to tell which is why awareness is so hard for associations. Great brand stories tell the story members want to hear.
5. Experience. More than marketing membership or member benefits or an event the best brands market experiences. Marketing a product or service activates the logic side of the brain. Marketing experiences activates the emotion side of the brain. We need to appeal to both sides of the brain to truly engage members.
Beyond brand look how are you leveraging and building your brand’s elements?