By Chairman Claire Edmunds
Question: How and when do you make a decision to relaunch your brand?
Answer: It’s a huge decision to renew an established identity and recognised branding, especially when resources (time and money) are scarce. But there comes a time for most brands when the image conveyed no longer fits what you are about, what you are trying to deliver or the image you are trying to portray – or you simply need to progress the organisation and develop a new/improved brand to communicate these changes. Here at the VMA, we have recently had real-life experience of this!
The focus of the Veterinary Marketing Association has always been to deliver top quality professional development via seminars and workshops, along with awards and networking events. However, as a consequence, less time and focus has been spent on developing the strategy for the association itself and the image we portray via our marketing communications.
Having made the decision to dedicate time to develop the VMA strategy, it was during this process that it became clear the branding and communications of the association were not aligned with its evolving vision and mission. There was a need to update the brand to reflect our modern association, one that is designed to meet YOUR needs as a marketer in the fast moving veterinary channel.
Most of us can cast our mind back to Kotler, who defined a brand in the famous ‘Principles of Marketing’ as a “name, term, sign symbol (or a combination of these) that identifies the maker or seller of the product” –
Here is the process we used and our top tips for a successful rebrand:
- Do your research Understand your target audience (and your competitors), their needs, desires, and the way they receive their communications – what works well (and what doesn’t)
- Determine your proposition/positioning What do you stand for? (and also what you don’t) to help determine your identity. Be clear about what you want your relaunch to achieve and develop a creative brief to communicate this
- Create “the big idea” This will bring your positioning to life for your target audience
- Develop visual identity/branding guidelines To ensure everyone in your organisation knows how to utilise the new brand to ensure consistency in message and delivery
- Develop roll-out plan Communicate!
Following the top tips above, the VMA has evolved its branding to communicate the vision and mission of the association and to reinforce to marketers within the veterinary channel what it can deliver. During the process we have also developed the content of our service offering to better reflect the needs of our busy members:
- Providing even MORE cutting-edge training and development meetings
- Recognising new talent – Young Marketer of the Year to recognise those new to veterinary marketing or those less than 35 years of age
- Sharing and celebration of success via the VMA awards
- Providing opportunities to network with others facing similar challenges
- Ensuring communication with our organisation and between members is a seamless and efficient process
Give us your feedback!
We’d love to get your feedback on our new branding and communications. Please take a moment or two to have a look around and fill in the form here with your feedback. If you send us your thoughts by 10th October 2016 you could be in with a chance to win a FREE delegate place at our upcoming prestigious Annual Seminar ‘Big Campaigns from Small Budgets: Working the Magic’ (worth £250!) on Oct 20th* – more information on the seminar can be read here
The VMA: dedicated to achieving excellence within veterinary and animal health marketing
* Terms and Conditions are available from the VMA office.