Branding Libraries: Step 7 – Building the Libraries Brand Image

Finally we can begin to discuss the creation of a logo, a memorable name, and maybe a tagline although the logo can be all three at once. If it is not then each of these must communicate thoroughly and concisely the essence of the library’s unique selling proposition. The logo of the library should represent everything that the library does. If we look at the business model we can find examples of logos that represent and embody the companies entire ideal. One such company is Nike with its “swoosh” that represents movement, speed, agility, and all around athleticism. In the same way the libraries logo should suggest some kind of community meaning, define the mission of the library, and set the tone for the entire company. Also, it should be understood that this logo is used to enhance the consumer’s impression of the library.

“Ideally, your company logo enhances potential customers and partners’ crucial first impression of your business. A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your customers, establish a brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise.” (How to Create a Logo, 2006)

So, how should a library begin the process of creating a logo? The first step is to look at the logos of other businesses with similar goals, missions, and commitments. For example, if we look at the logos of other book suppliers we can see that the logos are largely text based. Border’s, Amazon’s, and Barnes and Noble’s logos are all textual in nature. The logo’s communicate the name and image of those companies and they are clean and functional. By clean functional I mean that the logo is reproducible, easy to scale, it is memorable and distinct in such a way to be as recognizable on business cards as it is on a billboard on the side of the road. There are no complex graphics, clipart, or photography that take time to decipher the meaning of or understand without looking for some time. The simplicity of their logos allows them to be understood wherever they are seen no matter how long or short of time they are looked at.

This type of simplicity and usability is important in a logo because the logo should be everywhere the library products are, or wherever there is a point in the community where they could be reminded of the library. For example, if we continue to look at corporate bookstores as the model brands we will notice that while in the stores we are continuously surrounded by brand images. The logo is on the books, it is on the bags, the walls, windows, signs, outside of the store, in fact it is on every possible customer touch-point. This is what connects the company to the logo of the brand and through the brand to the customers.

Since the logo should be everywhere library patrons are it is important to understand that in many places this logo is the “face” of the library. In other words the logo must do a number of things. The first, and perhaps most obvious is that the since brand image must remain constant to keep from telling a confusing story then the logo must remain constant. Second, the logo must communicate the brand story in some way. And third, it must be continuously connected to the library itself.

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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