Alexandria Library


In response to community research that showed a lack of brand awareness, the Alexandria Library revitalized its marketing efforts to turn a fresh face to the community and re-engage them in all the Library had to offer.

Lack of library brand identity threatens funding

Alexandria Library serves an energetic and richly textured community, yet market research conducted for strategic planning indicated that the Library’s brand profile was non-existent and its image, “stodgy.” Community members felt uninformed about Library events and services, knew little or nothing about its vast electronic resources, homework help, or research assistance.

In addition, because the Library had neither a distinctive nor widely acknowledged brand identity, many residents confused its branches with those of nearby library systems—a potential threat to sustained funding. Indeed, civic leaders observed in executive interviews conducted as part of the pre-branding research that library marketing could result in more effective advocacy for funding.

That’s where The Ivy Group came in.

Bring together stakeholders and do your research

We started by presenting a workshop on branding and marketing basics for designated library staff. The marketing workshop established a common understanding on the importance of branding and the trademarks of marketing programs done well. A subsequent visioning exercise with staff and Trustees laid the foundation for what the new brand should accomplish.

Next, a market segmentation study using Claritas MyBestSegments identified the most prominent consumer types within the Library's service area. The market study provided demographics, lifestyle characteristics, and media preferences for the community. These insights create more effective and efficient marketing strategies and media purchases.

With stakeholder buy-in and community research in hand, it was time put thought into action with a new library logo, tagline, and marketing plan.

The new library brandmark projects the City's evolving character, diversity, and inclusivity

We designed a new logo that more dynamically communicates the Library’s new mission statement: The Alexandria Library builds community by providing opportunities to create, explore, learn, and connect.

The new brandmark reflects the City’s evolving character, diversity, and inclusivity. Bright, jewel tones sparkle like active minds illuminated by discovery and knowledge. “Alexandria” begins and ends with the same letter—the logo’s “a” is a hybrid of an uppercase “A” public institution and “a” more familiar and cherished community space. The curving line winds back on itself, representing the interdependence and interchange of ideas the Library nurtures.

Logo design for Alexandria Library

The fresh, contemporary color palette reflects the community’s aspirations and self-image. It is flexible enough to allow for a variety of color treatments while still maintaining the integrity of the visual identity. This flexibility allows the Library to assign specific colors to the multitude of programs and events offered.

The secondary logo and tagline treatments visually connect yet distinguish various services, programs, and events. The typeface is friendly and readable—two key concepts for a library.

We really enjoy the logo’s vibrancy and how well it translates in full-color and black or white.

Anton Murray, Alexandria Library Communications Officer

Library tagline and marketing engage the community by asking, 'What's on your mind?'

The new brand personality is dynamic, informal, and contemporary with variations on a “What’s on your mind?” slogan signaling that the Library is totally focused on what Alexandrians want as well as when and how they want it.

Along with the rebrand, The Ivy Group developed a marketing program to reintroduce the Library to longtime residents, celebrate its contributions to the community’s quality of life, and project a welcoming image to newcomers. The marketing brief includes characterization of target audiences and strategies for connecting with them, as well as recommendations for managing cost-effective library communications.

Library brand managers are excited for the changes and have been quick to move forward with the new marketing initiatives. Alexandria Library rolled out the new brand, colorful pennants, signage, and library cards during September 2017 for Library Card Sign-up Month at a series of community and Library events and programs. The newly designed library card generated so much interest that library card registration increased by 170 percent!


Objective

Establish brand profile and increase community awareness while differentiating Library from local competitors.


Activities

Community assessment and segmentation, executive interviews, telephone interviews, online survey, strategic planning, training, branding, marketing planning, graphic design


Outcomes

  • Re-engaged community for brand awareness and library use: library card registration rose by 170 percent
  • Presented the library as dynamic, contemporary, and friendly: logo earned "Award of Excellence" in the Logo/Theme Art category at the National Association of Government Communicators' (NAGC) 2017 Blue Pencil and Gold Screen (BP&GS) Awards