Sometimes we hear comments like “we don’t have time to explain the process and get input” or “we don’t want to crowd source a logo.” I completely agree with that last statement by the way. But the importance of true community engagement cannot be ignored. Here are five reasons you should consider community engagement in your branding process.
- A brand is more than a logo. A brand includes a logo or visual identity, but a brand is also the experience people have in your community. Everyone has different experiences. You need to capture those experiences or else you risk developing an inauthentic brand.
- Your residents are your unofficial spokespeople whether you like it or not. So, it is important to include them in the journey of brand development. You learn things, they learn things. And when it is all said and done, they are armed with “why” branding is important and feel a part of developing a brand. Bonus – This sense of ownership helps lead the way for brand ambassadors once the brand is launched. Being part of the process gives your community a sense of pride in the brand and excitement to help share it with others.
- Taxpayers have opinions. But you know this already (insert big grin). Taxpayers include residents, businesses, organizations, and even the media. There is a certain amount of responsibility that goes with being a public entity. One way you can address that responsibility is provide an outlet to hear perspectives in order to provide an equitable, sustainable public decision. And yes, that includes a brand.
- You can learn something new. Engagement can be a lot of things including surveys, popup events, focus groups, and more. Throughout the process, you may be surprised that you learn important nuggets that you can use for other initiatives or guide decision making for other projects. Keep your eyes and ears open and you may get more than you bargained for (in a good way).
- You can crowdsource ideas. Not everyone is a designer and so crowdsourcing a logo is not a great idea. However, asking how people may envision the brand/logo being used in their community or neat ways to showcase may inspire how you can launch the brand in unique ways.