Breakthrough Branding: Positioning Your Library to Survive and Thrive

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors

Branding provides a unique way for a library to distinguish itself: its identity, personality, and image. Drawing on five vividly unique case studies from libraries across the country, Breakthrough Branding: Positioning Your Library to Survive and Thrive shows how to mesh your library's brand deeply and seamlessly within your internal culture, to leverage and better position your brand for the audiences you serve, and develop and implement promotional strategies and tactics consistent with your objectives. Experienced marketers and branding consultants Suzanne Walters and Kent Jackson offer clear advice regarding the art and science of library branding, advocacy, ethical considerations, marketing management and evaluation throughout the book's three sections:

  • "Branding" explains what a brand is and how to assess, develop and utilize your brand as an important institutional asset, with insider tips on environmental scanning, market research, and situation analysis;
  • "Positioning" leads you through the process of effectively addressing your target audiences;
  • "Promotion" helps you develop an integrated marketing communication strategy, including how to craft on-target messages, leverage your online presence to inform and engage with community members, and capitalize on traditional marketing channels, with guidance on public relations, event strategies, email, websites, and more.
List of Illustrations
Section I: Branding
Chapter 1: What Is a Brand?
Knowing a Brand Means Experiencing a Brand
  • What Good Brands Have in Common
  • The Concept of Brands and Branding Is Evolving
Branding—An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Branding Inspires Action
It Begins with the Basics
  • The Readily Observable Elements of a Brand
  • The Tangible Elements of a Brand
  • Experiential Elements of a Brand
  • The Origin of Intentional Elements of a Brand
Advanced Branding and the World of Libraries
  • The Three Dimensions of Branding
  • Application to Libraries
Chapter 2: Assessing Your Library Brand
Start with Your Own Intuition
  • Power of the Brand Story
  • Revisit the Bubble Room
  • Ask Customers, Colleagues, and Community Leaders
The Nexus—Forging a Purpose and Focusing Your Library
Taking Stock of Your Library Brand
  • Start with Mission and Values—Why You Are Here
  • Consider Your Vision—Where You Are Going
Assessing Your Situation with SWOT
  • Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
  • External Opportunities and Threats
Team Involvement
Using Market Research
  • What Constitutes Market Research?
  • Understanding the Competitive Market
  • Assessing Market Share and Mind Share
  • Assessing Brand Equity
Implications for Planning and the Formulation of Strategy
Chapter 3: Developing Your Library Brand
Your Brand Is a Living Thing
A Path to Follow
  • Who Should Be Involved in the Process?
  • Use of Outside Experts
Relating the Brand Process to Planning
People, Protocol, and Process
A Disciplined Approach
  • Step 1—Brand Assessment
  • Step 2—Brand Discovery
  • Step 3—Brand Creative
  • Step 4—Brand Plan
  • Step 5—Brand Implementation
Internalizing Your Brand
  • Brand Management
  • Building Brand Equity
Section II: Positioning
Chapter 4: Defining a Positioning Strategy: Why Is It Important to Your Library?
What Is Positioning? What Is a Positioning Strategy?
  • Secrets of Positioning: Identifying Target Markets and the Competition
Using Positioning to Differentiate Your Library in the Marketplace
  • Positioning Differentiates Your Products and Services
  • Examples of Positioning within the Commercial Marketplace
Your Library Has a Position in the Marketplace
  • Conducting Market Research to Understand Your Position within the Community
  • Market Research Methodology
The Integration of Positioning and Branding
  • Brand Loyalty
  • Brands Evoke Feelings and Emotional Attachment
Positioning and Branding
  • Is the Branding Process Necessary to Position the Library?
Strategic Planning and Strategic Positioning
Chapter 5: Understanding Segmentation: Selecting Your Target Markets
Using Market Research to Understand Target Markets
  • Getting the Market Research Assistance You Need
  • Using Professional Market Research Teams
  • Using Primary and Secondary Sources 
  • Understanding Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Understanding Segmentation Analysis and Targeting Your Audience
  • Cluster Systems: PRIZM and VALS
Selecting Your Target Markets
  • Criteria for Evaluating Your Target Market
  • Selecting Your Target Markets (Market Segmentation)
  • Choosing the Approach for Your Library
  • Successful Market Segmentation Research—Columbus Metropolitan Library
Chapter 6: Crafting a Desired Positioning Strategy: Achieving a Distinctive Difference
Understanding Positioning as It Relates to the Brand
  • Behavior-Focused Positioning
  • Barrier-Focused Positioning
  • Benefit-Focused Positioning
  • Competition-Focused Positioning
  • Focus on Repositioning
Determining How to Position Your Brand
The Positioning Statement
  • Positioning Drives the Creative Process
  • Crafting a Positioning Statement
Value Propositions
  • Value Propositions and Taglines
  • Where to Begin
  • Relationship of the Positioning Statement and the Unique Value Proposition
Developing Goals and Objectives for Target Audiences
Section III: Promotion
Chapter 7: Positioning and Marketing Strategies: Introduction to Positioning and the Marketing Mix
What Is the Marketing Mix?
  • Marketing Mix, Branding, and Positioning
  • Selecting the Right Marketing Mix for Your Library
Product/Service: The First "P"
  • The Core Product
  • The Actual Product
  • The Augmented Product
  • The Potential Product
  • The Product Life Cycle
Place Strategies
  • Distribution Channels as Place Strategies
  • Objectives for Place Strategies
Price Strategies
  • Pricing Strategies and Value
  • How Organizations Decide on Pricing Strategies
  • Libraries and the Common Positioning Premise—"Free for All"
  • Enhancing the Brand through Pricing
  • Monetary and Nonmonetary Costs
  • Competitive Behavior and Pricing
  • Pricing Strategies Built on the Brand and Positioning Statement
  • Pricing Strategy Based on Product or Service
People Strategies—The Fifth "P" for Consideration
  • The Customer Life Cycle
Chapter 8: Promoting Your Brand
Concept of Promotion
Brand Architecture and Promotion
  • Developing Your Brand Architecture
  • Applications to New and Existing Brands
  • Revisiting Brand Architecture to Bring Clarity and Focus to the Brand
  • Investing in Brand Identity
  • Brand Architecture in Summary
Developing Your Promotional Plan
  • Developing a Creative Brief
  • Messages and Messengers
  • Creative Strategy
Selecting Communication Channels
  • Varieties of Communication Channels and Media Vehicles
  • The Website
  • Facilities and Physical Environments as Communication Tools
Public Relations
  • Public Relation Tools
  • Public Relations and Libraries
Nontraditional and New Media Channels
  • Social Media
Evaluation—You Get What You Measure
Building Brand Champions
  • Using Internal and External Design Teams
  • Developing Brand Standards and Guidebooks
  • Managing Consistency and Integrity of the Brand
Chapter 9: Advocating for Libraries
OCLC Study From Awareness to Funding
  • Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Queens Library: Positioning through Advocacy
  • Anythink Libraries and Advocacy
  • Wyoming State Library: Forging Strong Community Grassroots Advocacy Programs
Turning Adversity into Advantage
  • Using Adversity to Reposition Your Library
  • The Rebirth of the Grand County Library District
Positioning the Library within the Brand of a University
A Final Word about Leadership
About the Authors

Suzanne Walters

Suzanne Walters was the director of marketing and development for the Denver Public Library, director of marketing for the Regional Transportation District of Denver, developed nationwide programs of aluminum recycling for Adolph Coors Golden Recycling Corporation, and was a statewide coordinator of volunteers and events for the PBS station KRMA. Currently, she is the president of Walters & Associates Consultants and conducts marketing workshops and seminars for libraries both nationally and internationally. She serves on the graduate faculty of Regis University, facilitating courses in social marketing.

Kent Jackson

Kent Jackson, PhD, CPCU, owner of Jackson Research, Strategy, Solution, LLC, provides consulting services for a variety of for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, including education, professional associations, medical and human service providers, homebuilders and developers, insurers, and professional service firms. For nearly a decade, he was a principal and director of research for a graphic design and branding company. He currently serves on Regis University's graduate faculty, teaching social marketing and organizational leadership, and as a resource consultant to DiscoveryOnstage, a Los Angeles-based theatrical education and performance company.

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