Reputation management

birmingham.pngI notice that The University of Birmingham has a prominent link to information about brand developments on its website.

In order to maintain our competitive position against other UK and international universities we needed to communicate the University's key values more clearly, values that refer to our tradition as well as focusing on our contemporary achievements and ambitions. These values need to differentiate Birmingham from all of its competitors. The new brand, in its use of academic statements and arresting comments, allows us to do this. [University Brand]
This again reminded me of a comment in William J Mitchell's e-topia which has been in my mind since I read it some time ago. He is comparing offline and online experience:
Nor do you have the benefit of familiar architectural cues; the dignified stone facade of the local branch bank, for example, with its comforting intimations of solidity, permancence, and reliability, is replaced by the interface of an online home banking or financial management system. So, as Internet marketeers quickly figured out, trusted brand names and brokers play an increasingly crucial role. For organizations with goods and services to offer, maintaining brand equity on the information superhighway serves essentially the same purpose - in a much larger context - as maintaining conspicuous premises on Main Street. [e-topia: "Urban life, Jim - but not as we know it". p88]
Brand may be a word that is not congenial to some librarians, but I think that it is useful to think about library brand and a network environment. Another thing to return to in a future entry.

Note: I alluded to this quote before, when discussing Cornell's logo makeover. Something with similar motivation: how to communicate tradition and innovation? There, I mistakenly suggested it was from Me++, e-topia's successor in Mitchell's trilogy about cities and networks. Interestingly, although I have all three books on my shelves at home, when I wanted to check where the words were from, my first recourses were Google Print and Amazon. I was disappointed not to turn anything up. That old gravitational pull ...

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