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Don’t Get Caught in These Branding Traps

by | Nov 4, 2014 | Industry News & Trends

DIY or do-it-yourself may work with minor fixes around the house and “it’s good because we say it’s good” may have worked long ago, but the line is crystal clear when it comes to marketing, branding, and designing for your association – original, quality and objective-based marketing is the only way to go.

No matter the industry or membership demographics, and regardless of the quality of services or benefits you deliver, how you present your association becomes your brand and will directly impact your value with members.

Once you have marketed your association in an unprofessional way, your brand’s image will deteriorate and it will take effort, time and money to improve. This impact will occur, not only with your member base, but also throughout the industry you represent.

Members expect and demand the best quality from the associations they’re active in. Both members and the public alike can instantly distinguish quality versus mediocrity, and this is where an outside professional can become your association’s marketing quality control expert, and can deliver your message in the most effective way.

Don’t Make These Design Mistakes… EVER!

Don’t Do This: Make a generic brand video. A brand doesn’t stand a chance if it doesn’t connect with the audience through a simple and honest approach. Keeping in mind that what is honest for your organization is not for another. Own your strengths and weakness, and people will take notice and listen with a more open mind.

Don’t Do This: Create just a plain bad logo. Your branding should be an enthusiastic reflection of what you stand for. If it isn’t, then why does it exist? Organizations try to “save” money by keeping branding in-house, but this can cost more in the long run. Unless your staff is equipped with a seasoned creative professional, outsourcing and investing in your brand is best.

Don’t Do This: Crowdsource your important design work. Trendy brand work usually costs more and creates more work in the long run. Keep up-to-date of trends only to create the next one. Innovation is coveted in any segment, but save the trendy work for smaller projects. If you do, then make sure to revert to your original design when crowdsourced design work fails.

Don’t Do This: Think you can quickly create a new brand. It takes time, money and hard work to build and support great brands. If you need something quick, there needs to be a strong brand already in place.

If you’re going to develop your association brand, the last thing you want to do is follow the beaten path of hundreds of others. You must head down your own road. Your brand has to plant itself in the hearts and minds (especially hearts) of prospective and current members. An emotional connection through a great association brand is the key.


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