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It's a New Day! Rebranding the Edmonton Public Library

The Edmonton Public Library
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Innovation Leader: Tina Thomas, Director, Marketing and Fund Development, tthomas@epl.ca

Problem Statement

In the fall of 2009 the EPL asked “What do people think about us?” While well used and loved by many, most EPL stakeholders had a limited or archaic view of the library. This misperception, if uncorrected, could continue to limit our ability to attract and retain customers for the great services we offer and to influence donors on why they should support us.

Innovation

Our new mission is “We Share!” and our new promise is “Spread the words” making our mission a call to action. Our new logo is 5 lines of color that can represent a great deal – from books, DVDs and video games to diversity in content, resources and customers. These color lines can grow into many designs, giving our brand life. We developed 4 high-energy commercial spots and 6 print ads used for transit and billboards, showcasing the depth and breadth of services available at EPL. We introduced 5 new library cards with our new brand colors and messages. We revised our website and implemented a customer and staff eNewsletter. We developed a variety of promotional materials including staff nametags, t-shirts, light pole flags and interior banners. We used guerilla marketing and community involvement to launch our brand. The strength of our brand is that it leverages smart language to convey our values. As a result some of our most popular brand sayings were created by staff and customers including “We make geek chic.”, “I’m happy and I know it.” and “I’m and Information Ninja.”

Progress

The goal of our rebranding was to dramatically change the perception of our Library. We achieved this goal and more. Customer feedback has been strongly positive with comments including “Your new branding is very fresh and great to be part of so my kids can see how cool the library is. Excellent job!” Quantitative measures are equally strong with membership renewals up 18%, circulation up 15% and program attendance up 10%. By December, 2010 we ordered 120,000 new library cards to meet demand compared to 40,000 cards per year for the previous two years. Our guerilla marketing sticker contest generated 26,000 public votes. 280 people participated in our MP3 experiment – the largest in Western Canada. Donations and sponsorships are up 35%. Media coverage was extensive both at the local and national level.