Friday, 28 June 2013

CILIP rebrand - Let's help the process, not trip it up

I'd like to say a few things about the CILIP rebranding. There's not much more to add to the debate, but  this is my take:

  • Most people agree CILIP isn't a very good name. I've heard no dispute on this one.
  • The CILIP logo and colour scheme are over 10 years old. That's quite a long time for a brand, how much longer could it last?
  • £35,000 is actually not that much money when you think about CILIP's annual income and expenditure. The project cost detailed by CILIP includes designs and implementation, as well as consultation. If the new brand lasts another 10 years and contributes to the professional body becoming more influential then it would be hard to argue this is anything other than value for money.
  • Most people don't like change. The consultation process has not managed this fact very well at all.

I don't think the rebrand should be stopped. I agree that the existing brand is holding our professional body back, and I don't believe that it will be able to grow its influence without a clearer identity.

I do want to see the dialogue continuing though, and I'd like to see evidence of what the branding means to people outside of the existing membership. The existing c15000 members that CILIP represents matter greatly, but that number should be higher - people who may join under our umbrella in the future if they felt the identity of CILIP matched their own. Also, many of the the people CILIP needs to influence are not members. The brand needs to be able to reach them as well as reflect us.

We've all got pet lists of things we'd like to change about CILIP (mine include: stop paywalling the magazine!) but I believe it is a fundamentally good thing and deserves our support when acting in good faith to sustain and develop itself for our benefit.

The process may not have been handled brilliantly so far, but stopping this work in its tracks would undermine attempts to develop what CILIP does. Let's help them find a better name and brand, not trip them up.


Barbara Band said...

Great blog with some good arguments. Glad you've pointed out that the £35k is not just for the renaming but includes a much more involved process and is actually quite good value. And yes ... I agree that we do need to look outside our existing membership (without neglecting current members) and widen the organisation's appeal and influence. This is the only way we'll be able to strengthen our profession and move forward.

twi said...

Good points. My own feeling is that CILIP has failed dramatically at Change Management, and that error is clouding the useful things they are trying to do with rebranding.

Desmond said...

My feeling is that the renaming exercise has been very badly managed and is a massive distraction when the public library service is facing a 40% cut in funding and we need CILIP to be much more effective in advocating the value and importance of libraries.

Paul Weatherall said...

CILIP may not be the greatest name in the great pantheon of possible alternatives but I've yet to see someone propose a better one and I'm not aware of CILIP members being so upset with it that they have been demanding that it is changed.

The logo and colour scheme can be updated without changing the name. However the new website doesn't bode well as an example of innovating design!!

Who are the people we are trying to attract? Has any market research been done and if so how many of the potential recruits have said they would join if cilip was called something else?

The motion to call a halt to the current exercise appears to me to be the only positive way forward