Liz Doucett, Director of the Curtis Memorial library in Brunswick, Maine http://www.curtislibrary.com/ brought her vast experience with brand management to MLA today.
Marketing and Branding...How can they help my library and how do I get started...were the focus guestions.
Marketing is an umbrella term for strategy, planning, tactics, publicity and events. Branding is a component of marketing..just one piece...using your message and logo. The logo is the visual representation for your message . Branding is critical in a world of information overload and has become a site expectation to define a role and give alot of information quickly.
What you want to say has to be meaningful to the target audience. There is emotion based branding and there is attribute based branding. Emotion based is very powerful such as the VOLVO Saved My Life Club vs. the attribute based list of Beer ads. Emotion based branding is used to make a connection with your audience and change the way people think about you. Libraries want to stay away from a laundry list of information in there marketing.
Library message should address the everyday needs of their patrons and how those needs are met and what makes your library unique.
Examples of some library brands;
Boston Public Library "Books are just the beginning:
West Palm Beach Public Library "An oasis of knowledge"
Harris County Public Library "Your pathway to knowledge"
Library of Congress "More than a library"
When considering marketing...Is it unique, meaningful and relevant
Make sure you deliver on that message
Never promise what you can't deliver
Look for Liz Doucett's publication with ALA in June "Creating Your Library Brand"