Whether you realize it or not your camp has a brand. A brand is simply the image your stakeholders (i.e. “customers”) hold of your camp. It is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a stakeholder’s decision to choose your camp over another – for their kids, for their philanthropy, for their volunteer time.
A brand is also a promise to customers that they can expect a consistent experience of value and benefits with your camp. Volvo, for example, promises safety. Zappo promises the best customer service. Apple promises innovation.
Here are six important elements of a strong brand:
Consistency is the most important aspect of a successful brand. Do you have a clear, passionate vision of what you stand for? Is that vision aligned with your work and understood both internally and externally. Every customer’s encounter with your brand — whether with your staff, website, marketing communications, social media, or any other experience — must consistently convey your brand promise and align with your brand identity
Driven by organizations values
A strong brand must accurately reflect the core beliefs of your organization, your leadership, and all who deliver your brand experience to stakeholders
False promises do not work. Your brand must be honest, accurate and reflect who you are. Customers are more likely to trust an authentic brand and they’re more likely to identify with it
Take an empirical approach to understanding your place in the market. Always test assumptions using data. You may have to make adjustments, for example, if the market is no longer interested in your brand promise.
Aware of Competition
Who are your camp’s chief competitors and what are their brand strategies?
How are customers changing? What economic, cultural shifts are causing changes in the camp marketplace? How are your potential customers’ desires evolving? Evaluate these trends, get on the same page internally and address your brand with the future in mind.
Do you know your brand promise and what makes you unique in the market place? When you are clear about what your camp is all about and what makes you different, you will attract and retain more campers.
Looking for more information about branding? Big Duck Consulting has presented on branding at the JCamp 180 Conference. Check out their free online webinar on branding.