Brand identity a way to guide associations in times of crisis: experts

The importance of branding for associations has come to the fore during the current uncertain times, noted speakers at a recent webinar by the Philippine Council for Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), who regarded it as a necessity for maintaining member and community engagement.

Branding consultant Chris Dingcong, creative and managing director of Hong Kong-based Springtime Design, said leveraging the associations’ brand value builds emotional connection, resonates with members and the community, and fosters togetherness with people having the same mindset. These allow associations to be “more agile and more adaptive” in these times of the pandemic.

(From left) Octavio Peralta and Chris Dingcong dish out advice on associations branding

Dingcong suggested that associations tap their core values, culture and identity in building their brand to guide them in telling their story, communicate and develop relationship with members and the public.

Agreeing, PCAAE founder and CEO Octavio Peralta said: “As mission-driven organisations, associations need clarity, coherence and consistency in communicating what they believe in and stand for to its key stakeholders – members, volunteers and partners – and to the community at large. This entails maintaining stickiness to their cause, propriety to their actions, and credibility to their audience. In essence, this is also about branding.

“So, branding is not at all about graphics and logos but more importantly, it is about telling good stories and deeds on the association’s identity, core values and culture. In addition, associations have a wealth and depth of knowledge and advocacy work on their industry or profession – resources, experiences and expertise which they can leverage on in building a brand,” Peralta shared.

“Should there be a need for a branding exercise,” Peralta suggested that associations “assemble all these aspects together, brainstorm with your Board and members, and invite a branding expert to put these together to come up with your own brand identity”.

He emphasised that a branding exercise need not to be complex and costly.

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