OCLC Symposium – Part 3

Patricia Martin – Marketing
Libraries: Defending the Brand
Libraries are in the best of times. Disruptive competition drives innovation.

Behold the rise of the second renaissance generation – the RenGen. They live in a knowledge economy. There is a formal delivery system for the knowledge of culture and there is also an informal system that is growing faster than libraries. The RenGen ignore the formal system on a daily basis. They have created their own information system. They are generation that does not see libraries as essential.

The preference for learning is visual and narrative for the RenGen and they do not get these things from libraries. In 2003, 23% of all mall shoppers browsed compared to 37% in 2002 – PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE TO BROWSE. For some people being well informed is social currency and libraries can give this to them.

Do we have something special for them?
We are local, engaging, and have the right price. You cannot defend a brand by promoting your features. You have to get emotional. What is at the heart of why people use libraries?
Ex. FedEx they are in the “peace of mind” business – delivering clean service – clean is part of the brand.

Does the experience match the brand

How do we tell people about libraries?
Libraries are in the desire/fulfillment business. A brand is a relationship, the look and feel of things. The RenGen wants things labeled, not a closet of stuff. They are too busy to browse.

3 simple acts that can make a difference: a friendly frontline, work the floor (seek people out in the stacks), and improve physical space.

For more information and presentation notes, visit litlamp.com – click on the green room (left hand side)
username/password: library