Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Intranet branding

Garth Buchholz at Digital Web Magazine has written an article on 'Intranbranding: why your intranet needs its own personality'.

I'm generally a fan of branded intranets except I've found that there are lots of cheesy names out there. The ones I dislike the most tend to be names of people created from acronyms. Sure intranets need 'personalities' but they aren't people .

My organistion is currently looking at a similar process noty sure of what will come out of that.
Being at a University the scepticism and cynicism level is extreme.

I read a very intersting article/textbook on branding names sometime back and it oulined a history of brand name development. Early 20c it was family names i.e Ford, later abbreviations were popular IBM, then the 70's, 80's techy names i.e Microsoft then in the 90's and the 00's the web opened up names that meant nothing about the company or product... Yahoo!, Google, Bebo, De.li.cio.us etc etc .

Have the names and brands of intranets also evolved? Have we moved on from the ubiquitous something -'net' to the little direct association names? The company in-jokes?

Anyway a quote from Garth's article:

By creating an IntraBrand for the intranet you:

  • Give design elements a site-wide consistency, creating a
    strongly unified look and feel—this develops a sense of teamwork and
    equality among different departments.
  • Create a dynamic identity and community for the workforce.
    Even if elements of the intranet include prominent corporate messaging, goals,
    etc., this is the employees‘ environment, and if they don’t use the site, it
    quickly diminishes in value.
  • Define the intranet’s main objectives and intended use.
    Intranet branding can help communicate to employees how the organization expects them to use it, and what they can use it for.
  • Provide a benefit to current and prospective employees. An
    intranet that has an integrated social networking value will appeal to new
    generations of employees whose internet experiences have made them expect
    higher standards from web communities.
  • Build a permanent foundation for employees. An intranet’s
    lifespan can extend even further than the careers of many employees. While
    the organization itself may be buffeted by external forces, be restructured,
    or even be sold to another corporation, the intranet may provide a sense of
    stability and community.


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