You know that chapter in Good to Great? That’s what came to mind when one of my favorite youth librarians came into my department and said: “You have to blog about this!”
She had the latest issue of Voya, the library magazine for those serving young adults. The article: “Market Your Library Like a Bookstore.” Great idea. And really good content. But. If you look at the photos, the brutal fact is that this is a long way away from a bookstore.
Do these both look like bookstores? I hate to say it, but the answer is the first one no; the second yes.
Granted libraries don’t have the same resources. But are we using that as an excuse? Plenty of small businesses who are short on resources create great visual experiences with few resources.
And the reason that this matters so much is because it is your brand.And in today’s world where keeping your market share means evolving to reflect market trends….well, using tri-fold presentation panels isn’t sending the message you hope to send. Sorry to be the one to say it.
What gets me is that it isn’t really all that hard. If we take a practiced eye and look around and really see , I’m confident that pretty much everyone would agree that these two images don’t send the same message to our public.
If you deliberately choose to embrace a brand that is represented by the first image, that is all well and good. That is your decision. But to say that these two images are remotely the same…well, as an industry we need to confront the brutal facts. Our survival depends on it.