Branding for Libraries

New Opportunities - New Behaviors - New Consumers

Branding for Libraries

Workshop Branding for Libraries

Branding for Libraries: New Opportunities, New Behaviors, New Consumers

Daniel Weiss, ISES, Spain and Serap Kurbanoglu, Hacettepe University

Description: Today, libraries are facing with new challenges. The vast amount of digital information and the shift on the user behavior who has instant access to information through different channels are only two to refer. Thus libraries need to re-design both their services and the physical space. Moreover libraries should start co-creating their services with the involvement of the users and invest heavily not only on marketing but also on branding to be able to justify their existence.

Branding is at the core of the marketing. Brand is defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA) as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers” (Lake, 2015). Branding, on the other hand, is “defining what a product or service promises and how it differs from the competition” (O’ Reill and Tennant, 2009).

Branding for libraries concerns how users identify and recognize products and services. It involves establishing a link between the library and a logo/slogan/phrase, then, developing a profile that can be used to build loyalty (Marketing for Libraries, 2014). Dempsey (2004) stresses that a library brand is much more than a logo, it's the "space you've captured in the minds of customers". Doucett (2008) describes a brand as a kind of shorthand for describing the attributes or emotions associated with a library. A brand tells a story about a product or service in a very short, concise way. It tells potential users what they might expect to get from the product or the service if they decide to use it. Branding offers a unique opportunity. It’s the way relationships are built and maintained. It’s how rapport is established at an individual level.

In this workshop participants will learn how big companies are building branding and how librarians can capitalize on it as well as what tools are available in Internet for brand creation and how to evaluate the metrics. Furthermore participants will design and launch their branding campaign during the workshop. Different methodologies will be used in this workshop from Lego® Serious Play®, Business Model You®, Gamification, Crowdfunding to Storytelling.


Dempsey, B. (2004). Target Your Brand. Library Journal, 129(13), 32-35.
Doucett, E. (2008). Creating Your Library Brand: Communicating Your Relevance and Value to Your Patrons. ALA Editions.
Lake, L. (2015). What is Branding and How Important is it to Your Marketing Strategy? Retrieved 11 February 2015 from /cs/brandmktg /a/ whatisbranding.htm
Marketing for Libraries. (2014). Retrieved 11 February 2015 from
O ’Reilly, T. & Tennant, M. (2009). The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint.

Branding for Libraries

Branding for libraries is one of the new e-services for libraries developed under the Xlibris project SMART ICT 3.0 LIBRARIES SERVICES funded by The Centre for European Union Education and Youth Programmes (Turkish National Agency) under the ERASMUS+ Programme.