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2:01 PM

Government Branding

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Government Branding

Branding your agency is not aping the private sector or selling out to Madison Avenue. Branding a government agency or service is as important as any other way you engage the consumers of the services you offer.

You will soon come to understand that if you ask 10 experts to outline the branding process you are likely to end up with 10 different outlines. But simply put branding is the process by which an agency establishes the image by which it wants the public to know it.

Private sector marketers have the luxury of narrowcasting to a target audience.  Branding in the public sector differs in that the target audience is likely to be comprised of several sub-audiences whose common denominator may only be that they hold the drivers licenses your agency is responsible for, or that their financial circumstances make them eligible for the food stamps your agency issues.

Properly identifying those sub-audiences will be critical to developing your brand. 

In addition, often public sector branding campaigns focuses too much on what agency management thinks about the nascent brand, and not enough on the rank and file workers who are the ones who interact on a daily basis with the customers.  Therefore, any agency branding campaign should hold council with workers whose job titles are “clerk” “eligibility technician” or their equivalent in your agency.

Finally, any public sector branding campaign must include the agency’s customers, in order to develop a baseline understanding of the agency’s current public image. Without this starting point it will be difficult to develop an effective brand for future growth. 

Remember that the goal is customer engagement.

We have worked with government for 25 years and offered marketing services for a like period. 

12:24 PM

Branding Case Study

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Case Study: Service Branding

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association is a thirty-year-old trade association based in Fairfax County, Virginia. Its core members are organizations involved in the facilitation of consumer electronic payments, such as credit or debit card transactions. 

Although it is based near Washington, DC, it is not a lobbying organization, per se. However, it does engage in government-relations on behalf of its members. Unlike more parochial trade groups competing for the same members, EFTA represents many different segments of the same market.

We were able to help EFTA turn this feature into a branding differentiator. This differentiator gives EFTA more credibility when speaking with members of Congress or regulators since they know that whatever position the Association espouses has been vetted across the entire Electronic Payments industry.

Buiding consensus across a diverse industry gives the Association the credibility that allows it to work effectively with the Federal government since credibility and consensus are values shared by both the Association membership and the Federal officials with whom they work.

The result has been effective Government Relations which has led to an increase in membership as more and more organizations realize the value of effective dialog between the Federal government and all segments of industry. 

The effectiveness of that dialog depends of those shared values of consensus and credibility which underlie the EFTA brand.
12:55 PM
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Values-based Branding 

Determine who your core customers are.

Figure out exactly how you want your brand to be known or seen by your core customers.

Develop a values inventory that lists the values you believe your customers hold along with the characteristics of your product that demonstrate those values and how your brand represents them.

Honestly review your existing communications and decide which ones allow your brand to be known the way you want it known and why. Those will provide a template for how to communicate the values your brand represents.

Correlated the customers' values with the product characteristics that best demonstrates those values. Focus is important at this step; keep the list to no more than 3 values and 3 characteristics per value. 

Next add the features of your existing communications that best demonstrate this relationship.
10:55 AM
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Big Data: The Internet of Things (IoT) presents a large cache of consumer data that speaks volumes about customer buying, spending and lifestyle choices

However, Chuck Martin, editor of IoT Daily, notes in his April 6 column that a new study including research by Oxford Economics and commissioned by Verizon shows that only about 8% of companies are using their Internet-generated data in a significant way. Significant here means using more than 25% of their IoT data. 

The two main drivers behind the use of IoT data are the same ones that have driven business since the beginning of commerce. A desire to increase revenue and a need to reduce cost.

While the percentage of companies making significant use of IoT data is minuscule right now, the study estimates that nearly half of businesses with IoT data will be using more than 25% of it within two to three years. 

But that means that 3 years from now 1 of every 2 businesses with IoT data will continue a hands-off approach to using this information for business-building purposes

The Internet of Things denotes the constantly expanding network of physical devices that use an IP address to connect and communication with other Internet-enabled devices and systems. These devices include programmable home thermostats and wearable fitness-monitoring devices.

Another factor that comes into play is the reluctance of consumers to share personal data for what might be considered “off-label” uses.