Dear League Leaders,

Are you on the "Brandwagon"?

In advertising and marketing organization identity ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ can take on multiple meanings. Some people think of the brand as a logo. This is a popular misconception – defining a brand as simply a logo is like defining a car simply by the shape of the body. You’d be completely forgetting the engine, the electrical system and other components that otherwise turn a complex combination of metal, rubber, wires and bolts into a working automobile. The body, in this instance, is only a component of the car.

Similarly, our logo is only a component of the brand. The brand itself is intangible – it’s an inherent promise made by the League to its members or potential members that reflects what  they can expect from us. That promise is made up of a number of tangible and intangible elements, including the logo and a reputation built over time. The brand is an emotional impression that is formed through time, action and interaction, based upon member expectation and promoted through deliberate messages.

Protect our personality
Another inherent component to our brand logo is its personality. The brand personality is what allows various audiences to relate to a given brand.  To make our brand logo promise and personality resonate with our prospective audiences and have any kind of staying power, the brands have to use their elements of recognition – logos, tag lines, websites and marketing efforts – in an organized fashion. The key to this is consistency.

A local independent pizza place in one town may look and taste quite different from a local independent pizza place in another town. But drive by a Pizza Hut in any city and you’ll immediately recognize it by the shape of the roof, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the kind of food you can expect to find inside. This consistency goes a long way to making an association between our brand and  members.

The biggest threat to a brand may very well be renegade designers. Not playing with or manipulating the elements that promote and represent our logo should be our Number One Commandment in the marketing and visibility arenas.