So your government agency needs a new brand? A strong, memorable brand can help a government agency stand out and communicate its values, mission, and services effectively to the public.
Think about the iconic NASA logos over the years, classic and recognizable. While both government agencies and mission-driven agencies aim to establish a strong visual and editorial style in the process of creating a new or updated brand, government agencies present unique challenges and opportunities.
A strong brand is a critical asset for any government agency to establish credibility and trust, increase visibility and engagement, and enhance reputation with people in the United States and sometimes even abroad. All of these elements are essential in fulfilling the agency’s mission and serving the needs of the people it serves. When developing a new or updated government agency brand, there are several factors to consider.
Agency mission and values
An agency’s mission and values should form the foundation of a strong government brand and be clearly reflected in the brand’s messaging and visual identity. Because the government serves the American public, agencies have an obligation to consider how their brands clearly communicate the ways in which they do this work. Audience research is a valuable way to make sure that the brand has buy-in from both the general public and the specific audiences that it serves.
Regular evaluation of the brand to ensure it is achieving its goals and objectives and making a positive impact on the public is a way to ensure that an agency is meeting the needs of the public through its efforts or if they are missing the mark. It can also help determine if small adjustments to the brand strategy and visual identity to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
Who will use it and how
Government brands are often used by a range of different people both within the agency and across other agencies, bureaus, and subagencies, which can make for a more complex brand system than if creating a discrete organizational brand on its own. Government agencies need to take into account who all of the stakeholders are—both internally, externally, and across agencies—who might use various elements of the brand and build sub-brands off of it. Taking stock of all these use cases will help determine the look and feel of a logo and the verbal identity that goes along with it.
Gathering feedback within the agency is a great way to better understand the ecosystem associated with the brand and ensure adoption and usage across the right channels A brand strategy that outlines the agency’s long-term goals and objectives, target audiences, messaging, and use cases will specify how the brand will be communicated and implemented across all agency materials and further built out if needed.
Rules and regulations
Government agencies can be subject to strict regulations and guidelines when it comes to branding, including restrictions on the use of certain colors, images, and messaging. It’s important to understand and comply with these regulations to ensure the brand is credible and trustworthy. In addition to communicating effectively with audiences. Branding guidelines also become important from a consistency perspective to ensure that sub-agencies and bureaus are clearly aligned with the parent agency they fall under.
By considering these key factors, a government agency can create a brand that effectively communicates its mission and values to the public and establishes trust and credibility.