What is a Brand?


wvc_logo_navA Case Study: The WVC Brand

For 86 years veterinarians thought of WVC as the “Western Veterinary Conference.” That was true  – for 86 years. But now WVC is just “WVC” (the way that IBM originally stood for International Business Machines but is now just “IBM”).

I learned that while researching an article on BRANDING for AAHA’s Trends Magazine (to appear in April, 2015). Carin Giovanni, WVC’s Marketing Director, told me that WVC has gone through a major rebranding process.

It’s more than a name change and more than new colors and fonts for their website. Their board redefined its mission and then determined how to communicate that fact.

The board broadened the mission of WVC.  It no longer exists only to provide an annual conference, though it still does that. Having been offered for 86 years, the conference has become an industry standard, drawing thousands of veterinarians to the WVC center in La Vegas, Nevado. But, going forward, WVC will mean more.

Now, in addition to the annual conference, WVC also provides year-round continuing education offerings. It is offering classes on a continuing basis at the organization’s Oquendo Center in Las Vegas, and it also takes programs on the road.

In the future, there still will be more changes. Though WVC has traditionally been known for providing professional development for veterinarians, it will be adding special programs for professionals who work in the veterinary industry (but are not veterinarians). That will include training for the important group of veterinary technicians, and it will mean enhancement training in such topics as presentation skills. Also, they will offer programs in lots practical applications that individuals in the veterinary industry can use.

WVC has done a great job communicating this new direction – which is what branding is all about. On the new website, you’ll see in large font, “MORE THAN YOU EXPECT.” Then you will read, “WVC is your year-round resource for lifelong continuing education.” A rolling screen says, “MORE THAN A CONFERENCE,” and “MORE ACCESSIBLE THAN EVER.” Three bold red boxes announce the “academy,” the “annual conference,” and programs “on the road.”

All under one URL (wvc.org), WVC now has communicated its new direction. Yes, the website has new colors and new fonts, but behind it is a new mission – the new brand.

WVC did a great job reviewing its brand, inside and out.  When you are examining your brand, remember that your brand is more than new colors and images. It is what you stand for, the promises you make.

That’s it for today.

Carolyn and John

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