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Keeping it simple. For fish, fowl and all of mankind

A couple of us are off next week to run a workshop on branding at the annual BIAZA Communications and Education Conference in Cork.

BIAZA is the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and we have been asked to take part because of our relationship and work with Chester Zoo.

The importance of brand in a zoo or aquarium differs not one bit from its importance in any large organisation. Multi-faceted stakeholder and audience environment, competition from within and outside the sector for customer attention and affection, and the requirement for a distinctive, unique proposition and positioning, delivered with brio across every conceivable touchpoint and experience; not just comms and marketing.

Now, there are a multitude of brand models out there to help those who lead to make sense of and maximise brand benefit and apply a brand proposition well across the piece. But in our opinion, there is a risk of theory, checklists, models and matrices getting in the way. Or even worse, a risk that the business of following a process and generating outputs acts as a substitute for genuinely useful and uplifting brand positioning.

And this will be our message to our friends from Zoos and Aquariums next week.

Keep it simple - but get it aspirational. If you want to put the brand proposition at the heart of your organisation (why wouldn't you?) and then work to get every stakeholder to get excited by it, we suggest you could do worse than set yourself the challenge of answering two, connected questions -  “What do we want to be famous for. And what is the big idea that will help everyone get excited?”

There, that doesn’t sound too complicated, does it?

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