In the most recent segment of our 3-part program on aligning your brand for growth, I outlined how to build a brand toolkit. Let’s dig a little deeper into how to use the brand toolkit evangelize your brand. First, identify the different groups you want to reach at your organization. Your message will likely vary slightly depending on their relationship with your club. A few ideas to get you started:
- Internal team members: after you’ve done all the legwork, it can be tempting to rush to share your new brand externally. I get it-- you’re excited to share. However, make sure you take the time to educate and train your team first. Your staff are THE most important advocates for your brand and their actions will bring it to life. Ensure they are well-versed in terms of what your brand stands for…and what it does not.
- Influencers: After your staff is up to speed, next up is educate external influencers. Who are they? Think of individuals with a wide sphere of influence—such a members who are well-connected, board members, even members of the media. Your message will spread faster when these stakeholders are in the know. A bonus? Giving this group information ahead of everyone else as a sneak peek will make them feel special and show your recognition of their importance to your organization.
- Members: Next up is to educate your members. From our earlier post, you already have a good understanding of their current perception. Now it’s time to educate them on what you learned and how you’re changing.
- Previous members: Members leave your organization for a variety of reasons. They move away, they can’t afford or aren’t using the membership anymore, or worse, they had a negative experience. Let them know how you’re changing and it may just nudge them to re-engage with you.
- Your broader service area: The final area of focus will be on community members who are in your target demographic but not yet members. They may have some familiarity with your club or medical wellness center, or be completely new to you. What do they need to know?
Second, execute your communication plans. Remember, it will take multiple repetitions across various media for your message to begin sinking in. While advertising, email, social media, and direct mail campaigns may be your most obvious choices for communicating, here are some hidden gems for extending your brand:
- Phone greeting: When people call in, do you have a pre-recorded greeting mentioning your hours of operation or elevator music for when they are put on hold? This is a perfect spot to incorporate “the new you”.
- Email footers: For your staff that are regularly emailing, make sure your new brand and messaging is represented in the email footer. A simple way to get a brand touchpoint in!
- Branded swag: Sometimes a tangible touchpoint is the most effective. Is there new swag that you can give members when they join or renew to reiterate who you are?
This concludes our 3-part series on quickly assessing and aligning your brand for growth. In part one, we outlined a guide to help you assess market perceptions about your organizations brand and in part two, we covered the importance of building a brand toolkit. Be sure to download this quick Brand Audit Checklist and prepare to take your brand to the next level in 2018.