Branding for Government Agencies: Creating a Positive Brand Image to Improve Agency Support and Performance
Creating a “brand image” that defines your federal, state or local agency as one that has true value in society is essential. Creating a positive agency brand image helps agencies hire the best talent, retain high performing employees, improve agency performance, gain community support and funding.
Too often, agencies are so focused on service delivery that they have never given much thought to creating an agency identity or brand that is easily explainable to themselves, let alone an external audience. For example, have you or one of your staff been asked, “So, what does your organization do?” and been tongue-tied when giving a response?
Without the label, most of us cannot tell the difference between the brand-name product and the generic item in the store. So how can relatively similar products command vastly different selling prices? The answer is simple. It's all about brand image.
In today's society, people tend to view a brand's image as an integral part of a product or service. They are not only buying the actual product or service, they are also buying the intangible qualities that differentiate the item of choice from other similar offerings. Brands such as Mercedes Benz, Tommy Hilfiger, and Mont Blanc are just a few companies that have built effective brand images.
If branding can be so effective for these products and services, why not use a similar brand strategy for government agencies?
How do you create a positive brand image?
Alliance Training and Consulting provides branding workshops and seminars to helps federal, state and local government agencies develop solutions for improving their public image and awareness with positive brand building techniques.
Branding focuses on defining, promoting and protecting a brand, but good branding is far less about marketing and public relations. Good branding requires good leadership, appropriate and ethical behavior, and an organization’s ability and willingness to fulfill the covenant, or promises, its brand represents.
Good branding goes beyond logos and slogans. A great brand is built from the inside out. Good branding develops buy-in to a brand image that is understood and supported by agency employees at all levels. The result is improved agency performance resulting in a top brand image that is supported and highly valued by the community the agency serves. Not only does brand appeal result in improving the agency's ability to receive needed funding, it also positions the agency to hire top job candidates and retain the best performing employees. People want to be involved in and associated with the best brand. Branding is a best practices recruitment marketing tool.
A government agency, like any other organization, exists to fill a particular need within society with a mission to accomplish specific goals or objectives. The agency must focus on its mission in order to succeed. Leaders within the agency must continually ask themselves: What is our business? Exactly what does the agency provide that its customers feel they need? What is unique about the association between the agency's services and it's customers? Who are your primary customers? What does the agency mean to the society? What do our customers want and value? Are our customers satisfied with the services offered? Does the agency meet, exceed or fall below customer expectations? Are we successful in accomplishing our goals? It is only through truthfully answering these questions that the agency can keep on target to fulfilling its objectives.
The answers to these questions allow the agency to begin to understand how it is perceived in the public’s eyes, and are a basis for internal evaluations to improve services to better serve it's customers. The answers also help discover the agency’s current brand image and begin to implement plans or programs to reposition or improve the agency’s public image. Developing a more market-centered vision is essential to an organization in terms of satisfying it's customers and improving brand image.
Our branding workshops offer innovative approaches and branding templates to help you make strategic decisions to create a brand image, or develop a brand repositioning strategy, that will add value to your agency and public image.
In a society where a government agency’s value is continually challenged, it is important to create a quality brand image that defines your agency as one that provides effective public services with dependability. This is the key to agency support, customer satisfaction, and improved agency performance.
By Dale Mask
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