Individual fraternity and sorority chapters are just a small part of the big picture. Each chapter has unique strengths and opportunities to market itself on campus. The challenge for the parent organization is implementing the use of the brand standards guide across all chapters to ensure consistency and brand recognition.
As the leaders at the larger level, you have invested a great deal of time and energy in safeguarding your brand, ensuring it speaks your core values and displays a positive image of your organization. How can we make sure chapters are following the brand guidelines? Do they even know they exist? At R&R we’ve done our fair share of rebrands, so we are equally invested in the success of your organization and want to see your brand continue to thrive!
Brand Standards, setting the standard for consistency
Here are a few tips to ensure branding guidelines get communicated down the line to all of your volunteers, chapters, collegiate and alumnae members, and especially the leaders and officers within each collegiate chapter and alumnae association.
Set the example.
Make sure ALL materials distributed at the national and international level are following the brand standards and providing examples of proper brand usage.
Educate on Greek Licensing.
There are numerous Greek Licensed Vendors that are utilizing your brand-name to sell their products. Some of your members may not be aware that only certain vendors have been given permission to use your brand. Educate and/or remind members annually on the importance of Greek licensing and provide resources and links to where to find these approved vendors.
Strategic Brand Standards Guide placement.
Put your Brand Standards Guide in an easily accessible place on your website. The key is logical placement. Your public relations, communications, marketing and/or recruitment officers are looking online for branding resources — especially during recruitment and major philanthropy events!
- Include links to download logos and graphics in multiple file formats.
- Include examples of how to tie in the national/international brand into chapter marketing materials.
Post to social media.
Social media is dominating the internet. We can say with 100 percent certainty that your members spend more time on Facebook than they do on your organization’s website, so why not post marketing materials to the sites your members visit most?
- Create a Facebook album of all logos and graphics with an explanation on how to use them.
- Include graphic elements on photos the national/international organization posts; this can include adding a logo or symbol to a photo. This will not only let the viewer know who is in the photo but also communicate proper logo usage to your chapters and alumnae associations.
Include the Brand Standards Guide in internal communications.
Are you sending internal newsletters or periodicals? Consider including a condensed brand standards guide in your next communication piece as a quick branding tutorial and reminder to follow the established brand identity. If it is an electronic piece, this can include links to download logos and graphics.
Provide social media profile image templates.
Chapters and alumnae associations can use the images provided rather than coming up with their own.
For all visual learners, displaying brand standards in a short animated format may be more effective than reading through a guide.
Leadership at the local level transitions annually, so branding education never ends. Annual reviews and refreshers on organizational branding will continue the conversation around creating a consistant and recognizable national/international fraternity or sorority brand identity!