Thursday, October 26, 2006

When a brand just doesn't cut it anymore

Librarians continue to debate the library-as-books brand. Should we change our brand? Can we change it? If we do change it, what should a new brand look like? Whatever side of the fence you're on, or even if you're on the fence, these are important questions to ask. Marketers, in fact, must contend with brand issues like these all the time. The new MarketingProfs article, Why Rebranding Often Fails points out the pitfalls in undertaking such an ambitious effort. Here are some of the author's points that stood out to me:

  • "A brand is the sum of perceptions people have about your company and its products and services. Ultimately, a brand isn't something you have, it's something you do."
  • "Rebranding should always clarify and refine your positioning. Your goal in rebranding should be to make it easier for customers and prospects to understand exactly why your company should be one of their top choices—why there are few credible substitutes for your company in the market.
  • And my favorite: "If, when rebranding, you're not scared, that [sic] rebranding probably won't create meaningful change in your organization or in the marketplace.
If librarians become committed to the idea of building a whole new brand based upon something other than books, simply tacking on additional services won't do. To change people's minds about who we are, we have to fundamentally change what we do and how we do it, without going so far as to alienate people entirely or lose sight of our special role in society. Difficult? For sure. Worthwhile? I believe it probably is, though I hope we continue to discuss this topic.

Categories: must_reads | usable_theories


brian mathews said...

you have the best blog out there

Jill said...

Aww, thanks. Actually, your blog is at the top of my list.