Team Branding

– Sandhya,
President – STC India Chapter

Have you ever tried to create a team brand? Most of us have, or have at least heard of, team vision, mission, goals, and other elements that comprise a team charter. How about a team brand? Think that only a company can have one? Your team can have one too.

How much of it can be used overtly depends on company, branding, and environment guidelines, but it’s a great teambuilding and morale boosting exercise to create your own team brand. It works well in creating some cohesion in work teams that work across functions or organisations.

I’ve done this exercise multiple times with various teams with wholehearted success each time.

What are the elements of a team brand? Here are some ideas:

  • Team motto or tag line
  • Team colours
  • Team logo
  • Team font (why not? We’re in the info design business, aren’t we?)
  • Team song
  • Team mascot (it could be a soft toy, a plant, even a pet!)
  • Any other ideas? Write and let me know if you can add to this list.

After creating your team brand, can you display it anywhere? Consider the following questions:

  • What are your company branding guidelines? Are internal logos permitted?
  • What is the environment in the company? Are you a unique team or part of a larger team? In the latter case, it’s probably best to balance your team identity with that of the larger entity?
  • What’s the size of your company? A small company may still be trying to establish its own brand and may not want additional sub-brands. Large companies usually have very stringent rules about the use of logos and such. A mid-size company may be more open to individual team branding and may even actively promote it. Find out.
  • What’s the purpose of your work team (if members are working in different organisations). Will a team brand help the work at hand?

Once you have your branding elements ready, you would need to decide how you would like to display your brand.

  • Team web or wiki page on the intranet – the most common place where you can safely use your team branding. If appropriate, the branding can be used on an external web site.
  • Team presentation or movie — We need team presentations on many occasions:  when giving status reports, when introducing the team to others, to promote the team. A team movie is a fun take-off on this idea and will stir the creative juices of any doc team.
  • Team newsletter – a great place to include brand elements would be in a newsletter that informs people about the activities of your team.
  • Team brochure — Consider having a softcopy/hardcopy brochure about your team that is a handy reference guide to your team.
  • Team poster – a fun way to showcase your team and make each member feel valuable.
  • Booth design — If your team participates in any conferences, such as employment fairs, the brand elements and products can be used in designing the booth.

STC already has a well-established brand and we have tweaked STC India branding from the main brand. An example of an external work team branding.

The activities of the STC India chapter are mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter. The various cities are active and the annual conference work is going on full steam. The agenda is almost ready and will be published by the end of the month. Plenty of time for you to get an idea of what’s on offer. A lot of you have given wonderful ideas and we’re implementing many of them for the conference. This time, I wanted to introduce parallel tracks so that we have more to offer to a greater cross-section of people.

I’m driving the LnM (Leadership and Management) track and plan to introduce a couple of new sessions: Progression and Career Forum. The progression gives you an opportunity to sample a number of leadership topics in a different format. The Career Forum will have invited speakers talking about lateral opportunities for technical writers. More about these sessions closer to the conference.

I hope most of you are planning to attend the conference. If you’re in Bangalore and in town during Dec 3-5, you should definitely attend. Folks from other cities, a great time to visit cool, green Bangalore, so get ready to pack your bags.

Bangalore chalo!