Create a Brand and Conduct Initial Marketing and Outreach Activities

Branding and marketing define and broadcast your program. Highly visible public recognition provides members with a compelling reason to want to join and succeed in your program.

To create a successful brand, market your program, and leverage the power of public recognition, follow the guidelines below.

Branding. For branding to serve your program, develop and deploy these basic tools and materials:

  • Program Logo and Logo Use Criteria. Use one logo consistently to unify all program elements under one easily recognized symbol and distinguish your program from others.
  • Member Logo and Logo Use Criteria. While distinct, relate your member logo graphically to your program logo. Explain the performance standards or participation thresholds that members need to meet in order to use the member logo.
  • Brand Building Blocks. Choose the fonts, colors, photos, and logo treatments for your program materials upfront, and then use them consistently and exclusively to reinforce your program brand’s look and feel.
  • Style Guide. Write a style guide to explain your program’s brand—the look, design, graphics, language, and facts that identify and describe your program—for everyone who uses your brand elements and make sure they adhere to it.

Marketing. Marketing is an ongoing activity that will evolve with your program. Start by developing these materials and using these tactics to raise awareness and create excitement about your program.

  • Background Information. Develop technical reports, articles, or papers that provide the foundation and justification for your program.
  • Letter to Stakeholders. Write a letter to stakeholders announcing your program and inviting their participation and support.
  • Program Brochure. Create a simple handout that describes your program and issues a “call to action” (e.g., become a member) to your readers.
  • Website. If possible, build a website to serve as a clearinghouse for all of your materials, technical reports, member information, and program news. If you cannot build your own site, consider creating program pages on the site of a host agency’s website.
  • Media Outreach. Leverage the media using paid advertisements or public service announcements to increase awareness and visibility of your program and successful members.
  • Events. Select, attend, sponsor, and present at conferences, events, and workshops to market your program to stakeholders and new recruits. Tailor your goals, materials, and talking points to the event you are attending.

Public recognition opportunities. Create public recognition for your members using these strategies:

  • Positive Media Coverage. Most companies appreciate receiving positive media coverage without having to pay for it. To generate media coverage, issue press releases praising members for committing to or reaching goals and mention members when representing your organization before the media at events or during interviews.
  • Logo Usage. Give access to logo usage only to members who meet certain criteria (e.g., reporting regularly, agreeing to certain terms). Or create a logos based on achievement (e.g., bronze, silver, gold) to acknowledge varying levels of performance.
  • Awards. Hold a high profile award ceremony (annually if possible) where members are publicly recognized for their achievements. Induct new members into the program during the ceremony and invite high-level industry or government representatives to attend and speak. Contact the media and ask them to cover your event.