Branding & Longitudinal Data Systems

Longitudinal Data System

Photo Credit: Candace Parrish

Data & Branding? Absolutely! Branding and Longitudinal Data Systems (LDS) go hand in hand.  Establishing a cohesive brand (logos, messaging, and services) for an LDS can prove beneficial in the area of usability.  From a database website to programs and apps used, clear recognition of an organization by its users across any market is a key to success.

With the rise of “Big Data” research and the use massive database systems it is increasingly important to keep organizations and their constituents on one accord. No matter how precise the research, faulty branding and/or key messaging could easily dissatisfy database users and cause disconnect. There is vast opportunity for brand confusion of an LDS considering longitudinal research is conducted over a lengthy period of time and often includes third party contributors. According to EBSCO Publishing, branding promotes:

  • Personalized search experiences using library logos.
  • Library awareness with unique logos and library names.
  • Customized messages via text added to the bottom of key screens.

The online reference system offers a couple of tools, EBSCOhost & EBSCOadmin making it a prime example of cohesive branding amongst various company programs. The company also offers branding tutorials for interested users.

With so many database systems, how can an LDS be made more distinguishable?

An LDS is more likely to be differentiated amongst similar databases by creating a brand strategy. Below, the St. Paul Marketing Team (an online marketing group) offers a Marketing and Branding- What is Brand Strategy video, which explains the value of strategically marketing a brand.

Once a cohesive brand strategy has been created and implemented promotional efforts do not cease. Through positioning, the brand must continuously be exposed to LDS publics and users, as the database will be operating over vast periods of time.

Strategic Marketing Services’ blog post, Quantitative Techniques for Brand Equity Research, Part I, suggests that the momentum of branding can be continued by conducting brand recognition research; a method used to evaluate recognition of the brand by its users, visually or orally.  Brand recognition research can help strengthen the memorability of an LDS’s logo, message, or services if used as a benchmark assessment tool.

Famous actor and director Orson Welles once said, “Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” This very quote is applicable to an LDS when it comes to creating a unique and memorable brand.

In general, branding should be embedded throughout an LDS’s campaign. Over time company imagery and messaging may change for a multitude of reasons, however, implementation and assessment of a brand should be continuous.


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