If your library isn’t thinking hard about how to rebrand itself to stay relevant, call me. It’s not too late, but believing that we can continue to coast on the library legacy is a peril. I just finished re-reading How Green Was My Valley, and it’s like the looming coal slag inevitably overtaking the town: change is coming and change we must.
But libraries aren’t alone. I read this interesting and well-written article about how business behemoths like Microsoft are reinventing themselves through branding — with great success.
The three companies cited took a risk and it has paid off tremendously and resulted in what the article calls a “brand-pivot“:
Hyundai. Never before had an automaker guaranteed that they would take back your car if you lost your job. Through such an offer ”Hyundai responded to the deep fear in the hearts and minds of the buying public with a simple message: we’re all in this together. Hyundai listened to customers about their biggest fears, expeditiously addressed those fears in a contextually relevant way.” Wow. Isn’t that the essence of marketing? How does this translate to library users? Have we asked them what is their biggest fear and positioned ourselves smack dab in the middle of that fear as a way out?
Microsoft. After a number of debacles and a reputation as a warlord, Microsoft redefined itself through its “I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea ” campaign. ”Microsoft is starting to pivot its brand by by finding its softer side, and is increasingly being seen as an approachable partner.” How can libraries embrace this concept of opening our doors and letting our customers into our brand?
Domino’s.I guess I missed out on how bad Domino’s had become, but through negative comments through social media, Domino’s got the message loud and clear and openly acknowledged that their product was inferior. That takes guts! ”So Domino’s made the ultimate pivot by testing, learning, experimenting, and ultimately reformulating its recipe, explicitly acknowledging that basically nothing was right with the old product.” Domino’s just posted their most lucrative quarter in a long time. Do any of our libraries need a dusting off in the minds of customers, repositioning themselves with a new recipe of relevance?
So read the whole article and think how we can use the lessons learned for libraries.