Branding Libraries: Step 5 – Owning a Phrase

Next in developing a brand, a library must own a word or phrase. When we are defining our message, we are trying to own a single word or short phrase in the mind of the target market. To say “own,” I mean that no other company could ever use that slogan to mean anything else other than what we have conveyed it to mean. By analyzing the strengths of the distinctions, and by understanding the role of libraries as community organizations I might argue that a strong choice would be; “Libraries ARE the community” or “The library IS the community.” This message conveys some of the same aspects of power that Nike conveys when they say “Just Do it.” It also promotes the ideology, and the mission of the library in the same way that “The Ultimate Shopping Experience” does for the Seattle shopping center Pacific Place.

If this hypothetical phrase is the one to be used then the next step would be to be sure that it is not owned by anyone else. Or that it has ever been owned by anyone else. Obviously, if it is already in use by another organization it can’t be used because it would simply cost too much in promotions, advertising, money, time, and effort to change the meaning in the minds of the patrons to that of fitting the library. It is clear that with such a slogan as “Libraries ARE the Community” it is unlikely that it has been used by any other organizations but it is important to understand if some other slogan is what will be used. Also, if the slogan has been used in the past by an organization that lost public favor such as Enron or the like then it should not be used either. This could lead to an association with negativity and that is exactly what a brand wishes to avoid.

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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