Branding Libraries: Step 1 – Defining Branding

Many businesses are taking advantage of the benefits of branding their company. (Hendry, 2006) The library should not dismiss this opportunity to take the same advantages that private businesses are and brand the library in the same way. This set of blog posts will review the current brand image of the library and outline the importance of controlling that image as well as outlining the important steps in creating a well-branded community centered organization. Through this discussion I hope to promote the idea that libraries need to gain a better understanding of a more holistic approach to branding and of the steps in doing so.

Defining “branding”
“Branding is often narrowly and inappropriately defined as the development of a consistent look and logo, but that definition misses the power of a real brand strategy” (Dempsey, 2004) It has been my experience that libraries have exactly this view of the creation of a library brand. I have discussed the creation of a library brand with a number of librarians and I have consistently received the response that their library does have a brand. They then continue by describing the look of the library logo or the look of the libraries within their system and have no mention of the most important aspects of branding such as “the emotions, perceptions, and impressions experienced by the person.” (Chominsky, 2002) To this I would also include that a brand is also the associations and inherent value of the organization within the minds of the customers (AllBusiness, 2006). Or in our case, our patrons. These next sets of Blog posts over the next few days are attempts to persuade those libraries that are attempting to create a library brand to include some discussion of cultivating a more holistic brand. This means cultivating a brand that is easily recognized and cultivates positive emotions, perceptions, and impressions (Lindstrom, 2005) about the library.

All sources will be Fully cited at the last post. (stay tuned!)

All Library Branding Posts

Branding Libraries: Step 1 – Defining Branding

Branding Libraries: Step 2 – A Brand Audit

Branding Libraries: Step 3 – Quality Products/Services

Branding Libraries: Step 4 – Library’s Brand Distinction

Branding Libraries: Step 5 – Owning a Phrase 

Branding Libraries: Step 6 – Tapping into Emotion 

Branding Libraries: Step 7 – Building the Libraries Brand Image

Branding Libraries: Step 8 – Advertise the image

Branding Libraries: Final Steps- Live the Message! – Measurements – Conclusion

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