Like any brand, membership organisations have to work hard in order for members to feel affiliation and loyalty. A brand identity means that consumers can more easily relate to the brand, forming an emotional attachment. By joining a membership organisation individuals inherently relate to the organisation. However emotional attachments can fade if the organisation changes (or doesn’t change), creating a ‘disconnect’ between the two.
Election specialist, UK Engage looks at how part of a brand’s personality – its visual identity, can encourage participation in elections, ballots and referenda.
The visible elements of a brand such as its logo, colours, design, name and symbols, together identify and distinguish the brand in the consumers’ mind. For a membership organisation, its identity should be a representation of its reputation, conveying its attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.
Member organisations will apply an identity to all manner of visual communications, ensuring the message is received by and understood by members. The identity will be applied to websites, intranets, social media platforms, sales collateral, advertising, signage, stationery, merchandise and packaging.
Maintaining the same brand identity when employing external suppliers can be a little harder to manage. UK Engage has encountered many examples where organisations need help with the continuation of the brand identity. In a democratic scenario, where an external adjudicator is assigned to run an election, careful attention should be paid to a company’s brand guidelines in order to maintain the continuity of the identity and what it ultimately stands for.
Applying brand identity to election materials
If any third party is representing an organisation, they must be fully aware of its brand guidelines in order to fully represent the brand. Although an election may be administered by an external company, the communication channels, be it print or online, must seamlessly replicate the organisation’s identity.
UK Engage’s in-house design team works to an organisation’s brand guidelines to develop printed election materials.
When designing printed communications such as nomination forms, candidate statements, ballot packs and engagement materials, such as letters, postcards, banners and posters, election service providers are able to transfer the brand identity easier than with online alternatives. Most election services suppliers offer online nomination forms and e-voting platforms but these online alternatives may not offer the freedom that’s available with printed materials, in terms of applying a brand identity. Often online forms are generic in design with limited opportunities for customisation.
In order to apply a brand identity to every element of the election, membership organisations should choose an election services provider that has innovative and modern online solutions, which can be customised to support their brand identity. UK Engage has updated its e-democracy services and now offers branding opportunities on its online nomination and e-voting platform. Logo, colours, designs and imagery can now bring your brand to your online election, continuing the relationship members have with their membership organisations.