Brand = reputation

3 February 2011
By Keith Woodward, Head of Marketing
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For some reason, branding is not everyone’s favourite topic! Unless of course, like me, you work in marketing. So let's start with a few quotes.

Some say, “I don’t need a brand”. Well frankly, you have one whether you want one or not. Essentially your brand is your reputation. Every touch point in your organisation has an impact on your brand.

Branding ensures professionalism within an organisation. It seals the deal on an entire package. A small organisation with a brand looks just as good as a large organisation when they practice the right principles. Brands enhance the confidence of all stakeholders and especially the customers who recognise that you really can deliver what you promise.

Great brands create an emotional connection and feelings of loyalty, which in turn support organisational success.

But what about the IET brand?

As Head of Marketing, the key message I took away from 2010 is that we must try a bit harder with our brand. We have made some good progress over the past couple of years but still have quite a way to go.

We know that too many non-members do not understand who we are and what we do, and it’s even more concerning that too many members do not know enough about the rich set of products, services and resources available to them.

To start to address this, some small but important enhancements to the IET brand and our approach to marketing communications are on the horizon in 2011.

And it’s the right time for change:

  • We have real opportunities to respond to renewed interest in professional registration and an increased emphasis on ethics and professionalism in engineering and technology.
  • As a result of the IET’s Digital Strategy, a number of updates and improvements to the organisation’s online presence are underway or in the pipeline.
  • Members have greater service expectations (and the desire for more personalised marketing messages based on their interests).

In short, there is a perfect window of opportunity to now refine our branding, and this plan has been agreed to by the Board of Trustees:

  • We’ll retain the IET “brand essentials” – our white backgrounds, black text and bold images and headlines.
  • The “IET” letters in our logo will also remain the same, but our full organisational name will replace the existing “Collective inspiration” strap-line.
  • We’ll sparingly but effectively introduce more use of our secondary colours.
  • There will be more direct messaging to better describe who we are and what we do, with a focus on “Professional Home for Life”.

Changes will be coming in progressively in both electronic and print media over the next few weeks and months.

There is another important part of the equation and this is around data.

To be more focussed on delivering what you really need, we’ll be asking for your support by telling us, via MyIET, more about your preferences, your interests, your work and your requirements as members of the IET. We will be running campaigns during 2011 to make it easy for our members to update their data. Just to be clear, the reason for doing this is to provide better service, better products and better communications.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share our marketing thinking with you. Those of you who have met me know that it is my passion and that I am dedicated to applying this to the Institution of Engineering and Technology for the benefit of our members.