5 essential elements of community branding

Before you begin

Five elements of community branding are frequently overlooked. Many projects fail because these are misunderstood, wrongly considered or ignored. The five 5 essential elements for consideration are:

Timelines, budget, decision makers, metrics and deliverables.

Community brands are large, hyper-complex projects. Only a few people have the opportunity to work on them. Even fewer do so successfully. It is necessary to question and consider these five elements at the beginning of the planning process. Here’s how.


How long will the project take? When will it begin? When will it end? What happens when things change?


How much can be spent on the project? What are the funding sources? Where’s the budget for implementation? How about the budget for hard costs? What reporting is necessary?

Decision makers

Who will be making decisions concerning the parameters and progress of the project? Are they committed to the project? Will they be present for the duration of the initiative? How will they be objective?


What metrics are used to indicate the need for the project? What metrics will be used to measure its success? Is the value of the project understood? Is there a projected Return on the Project’s Investment?


What's being done? What needs to be done tomorrow? What needs to be done next year? What can be done to eliminate redundancies? Can all deliverables currently be defined?

At the outset, these appear to be simple and obvious issues. And yet, they are commonly overlooked. These issues engender many obvious questions. Less obvious questions require experience and knowledge in order to answer. All questions deserve sound answers in order to guarantee success. And they require that they be well asked. In all cases, these essential branding elements deserve consideration well before a project is started.  

But all to often, this is not the case. 

A lack of questioning and consideration means many underestimate the magnitude of time involved, and goals are left unreached. Others fall for immediate expensive solutions without a strategy for long-term implementation. Decision makers make subjective (not objective) decisions, change office mid-stream, or are not project champions. Stakeholders are disenfranchised through non-involvement. Deliverables are presumed, without details finalized.

Too few project leaders are concerned with measuring and benchmarking. Many cannot demonstrate a project’s progress or success. Fewer still understand or can relate the value of community communication. And yet, when it comes to community communication projects, nearly all overestimate their proficiency in these matters.

Story & Co. understands the complexities and intricacies of community communication projects. We provide questions, processes, and considerations that avoid unnecessary costs, save faces, and build value, before a project even begins.

Thinking of developing a community brand or communication process? Consider and question timelines, budgets, decision makers, metrics, and deliverables. Or connect with us, and let’s start asking questions together.