Friday Buzz: Why Brand Consistency Is So Hard

Building a strong brand is an important part of growing your membership, but there are a lot of challenges along the way. Also: How to provide different online learning experiences to your members.

Are you staying true to one consistent marketing voice for your association’s brand? These days, associations face a lot of competition from the private sector, so having a recognizable brand style is more important than ever.

“People don’t necessarily think of associations as brands,” says a recent post from Member Boat, an Australian marketing agency. “Hidden behind long abbreviations, chaotic service offerings, and numerous partnerships, associations too often lose their identity.” But a strong brand persona is vital to attracting new members.

Member Boat shares a few of the challenges in keeping your brand consistent. The first is that associations offer up a lot of services. They host events, provide educational resources, do advocacy work, and act as the voice of an industry. Trying to do all of this while staying consistent isn’t easy.

Associations are also reaching out to different audiences, which presents its own branding challenges. For professional associations, their target audience may all be in the same industry, but they’re working with people across all ages and career stages. “It can be tricky to communicate with these contrasting demographics—while your goal may be to attract more young members, the older generation of your membership may not be as fond of those hip hashtags and other modern marketing methods,” says the post.

Lessons Learned

Taking online classes can feel like a solitary endeavor, but there are ways to combine traditional learning experiences with online learning efforts.

The Higher Logic blog recommends webinars and online communities as a great way to provide a group learning experience. “During a webinar, participants can ask questions either verbally or through chat boxes, interacting with the presenter and their peers,” writes Julie Dietz.

Associations can also distinguish themselves by providing blended learning experiences, meaning a combination of self-study courses and group learning tools. “If you already have the tools to provide individual and group learning, then creating a blended learning experience is easy—just create e-courses that include elements from both,” writes Dietz. “This may mean that you create a single e-course that includes text documents for members to read on their own while also incorporating live webinars.”

Other Links of Note

Reddit introduces its own video player. Users of the popular community website no longer have to use a third-party platform to post a video, reports BBC News.

It’s natural to feel insecure as a leader. A Forbes contributor reveals how you can turn that fear into a benefit.

Social media plays a role in driving attendance to cultural institutions. Know Your Own Bone delves into how it affects attendee satisfaction levels.

(mattjeacock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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