Allow me to share with you everything I have learned about brand management within and outside of Toastmasters.
by Thandwefika Tshabalala, Toastmasters District 74 Brand Manager
When I started as a VPPR three years ago I started designing posters for my club. My designs were fresh in my view, they were bold and edgy, and I did not care that they broke every Toastmaster branding standard that ever existed. What did it matter that I was not brand compliant? Potential members were seeing my work and flocked to my home club. Mission-Accomplished right?
What is the purpose of a brand
It was not until I sat in a presentation by Erich Vidge one day when he asked me to think of Woolworths South Africa as a brand. Woolies, as it is affectionately known, has a certain quality associated with its brand. Whenever you see that bold black and white logo or visual elements you know exactly what to expect… Quality. Whether you are in Lusaka, Capetown, Windhoek or Gaborone you expect the same quality because the brand is consistent.
“Whenever you see that bold black and white logo you know exactly what to expect… Quality”
Would the Woolies brand achieve the same result if it was orange in Zambia, used a different font in Capetown and used photos of pets in Johannesburg? This idea has stayed with me and allowed me to see the Toastmasters International brand for what it is; A non-verbal technique of communication.
A brand is a powerful tool for any organization
It unifies customer perception communicates our values. It goes beyond a logo and affects the style of pictures used, colors, fonts, and tone of written communication.
“A consistent brand unifies customer perception and communicates our values”
Within a Toastmasters club; the Vice President of Public Relations is the custodian of the Toastmasters brand. They are expected to communicate Toastmasters as a brand in such a consistent way that any potential member can look at posters from two different clubs that are 4000km apart and recognize them both as Toastmasters clubs.
The Brand Right Program
During this program, I will be sharing everything I have learned about branding within and outside of Toastmasters. I would like to do this using the following two methods:
Monthly Branding and Design Tutorials
We will be hosting a monthly online tutorial session where we cover key skills tips and concepts required for design and brand management. These will take place every second Tuesday of the month at 7 pm using GoToMeeting. Below is the schedule for the first 4 sessions. The sessions will be recorded and shared every second Thursday of the month.
|24 Jul||Getting started,
|31 Jul||Where should your club be communicating,
Designing for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Meetup
|14 Aug||Getting your club noticed,
Automating your PR
|11 Sep||Monthly Top Tip||GoToMeeting Link||970-750-301|
Brand Right Recognition
I will be monitoring the branding elements from the clubs and will be recognizing those clubs that are really making an effort to be brand aware. With your permission, I would also like to use some of your material to comment on what makes certain designs Brand Right and others not. This feedback will be an education to all as we explore the limits of the Toastmasters brand together.