Good branding is crucial in making people excited about your transportation planning project. Whether it pushes more participation or increases engagement, a solid brand kit makes your project memorable and exciting.
So, what makes for a good brand? How can you ensure your target audience is stopping to look at your content instead of scrolling right past? Here are a few ideas…
1. Give residents clarity and connect with them emotionally
Explicitly communicate what’s in it for community members. Make it clear that you want to best serve them and that they are a top priority! Be memorable and make things easy to understand in order to educate and spread the message. Utilize visuals, bullet points and data to back up your project in a digestible way. The branding should make sense and relate to the project.
“By using the brand to build a relationship with the community and reinforcing the impact that the community input is having on the outcomes, your agency will grow a loyal following of eager participants ready for your next project.”The Beginner’s Guide to Effective Online Engagement, Pg. 9
Good branding connects with audiences on an emotional level. Create a gut response that will drive people to get involved in your project. When developing your project, learn the history of the community the project will impact and try to compile testimonials. Not only will you build trust that could eventually lead to more participation, but audiences will also feel more emotionally impacted by your project when they know how it will impact them.
2. Attracting the Community’s Attention
To stand out from the crowd and attract attention, your project must cut through the distraction of our modern everyday lives. While traditional methods of promoting your project are primarily on paper and in-person efforts, the best way to get inside people’s minds is through their phones!
Consider a catchy project title and create a website. A memorable site name will stick with people. That goes with colors, graphics, and succinct copy, which can spread through social media campaigns. Together, your branding is consistent and recognizable, which people will appreciate. This leads to more word-of-mouth marketing and engagement.
In a past Survey of the Month, we highlighted the City of Phoenix’s Vision Zero Safety Action Plan. We attributed the success of their survey to curating a cohesive, memorable project brand. From their social media kits to their survey’s Welcome Screen, it was trusted and recognizable through the use of the same colors and logos.
3. Ensuring Visibility in the Community
Projects with high levels of engagement thoroughly understand the demographics of their community, their interests, and how they communicate. Craft your brand and communications strategy around these aspects:
- Which age groups are you targeting?
- Where do they live?
- What issues speak to them most?
- Where are you most likely to reach them? Which social media platforms are you most likely to find them on?
Track impressions and analytics from campaigns you may run on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Check back regularly to determine their effectiveness but also to gain an inkling on the types of people you are engaging and whether they’re responding to the project in a positive way. Another great way to gain insight on your audience is qualitative data. This is what makes MetroQuest’s Wrap-Up Screen extremely effective. Find out how people got to your survey, their zip code, age, gender, and have a space for additional comments.
Create a brand voice that communicates effectively and builds a relationship with your community. Traits like confidence, endearment and excitement will help attract attention to your project. A strong relationship will help with future successful projects, too!
Remember these principles in mind when crafting your project’s name, logo, communications strategy and overall look and feel. These are best practices that will lead to a memorable brand and an increase in engagement. Read more tips about branding and promoting your project in our newly revised guidebook:
The Beginner’s Guide To Effective Online Engagement — New Revised Edition