Has your institution's brand become institutionalised?

 

Business as usual can be awful for business. Too often, institutions get stuck in their ways and become out of touch with their brand and their customers. Sure some institutions may be able to get by without making any changes but how long will that last? And is getting by really enough? Sooner or later losing relevance will mean losing membership, so it’s time to start playing catch-up.

A lot of institutions need to rethink their brands. Many don’t think of their brand past terms of credibility, which is important, but it’s not all a brand is worth. Brands can build relationships, guide strategy, get people talking, etc. We even wrote a blog post on the value of branding. And don’t think that institutions don’t need to think about their brand because they don’t sell phones or cars. A great brand benefits all types of organisations.

Many institutions also haven’t touched their brand design in years, leaving logos looking outdated and not actually representing what the organisation is about. A refresh could make an institution look less stuffy and more up to date.

It’s easy for institutions to become complex over time, offering more and more products and services. Some of these might be created under different sub-brands that aren’t obviously related to the institution. While this can be useful in some cases, these sub-brands risk missing out on the credibility associated with the main brand. The main brand might also miss out on the recognition a popular sub-brand would bring. 

"Worst case scenario, you end up with an institution that only makes sense to the people inside it."

Taking steps to reorganise and even rename some offerings can simplify things. The result? Both customers and potential customers understand what your institution does.

Many institutions are guilty of falling behind in the digital world. Some have websites that look like they haven’t been updated since they were first set up, complete with broken links and blurry images. Some are extremely cluttered and difficult to navigate. With user experience standards being pretty high across the internet, you don’t want people leaving your website less than impressed - especially if they were looking to sign up.

Some institutions have no social media presence, and many that do have no real strategy. Facebook pages don’t see updates for months, retweets outnumber original content, or posts are frequently repeated to likely irritated followers. Social media is a great opportunity to communicate regularly with your audience and even reach new ones, so it’s a shame to let it go to waste.

It’s easy to remain the same. It’s also easy to be forgotten. Making changes might require stepping out of comfort zones but it will make all the difference to a brand.

Getting stuck in your ways won’t help in the long run. Adapting will.

Annabelle MayorComment