[Foundation-l] Report to the Board of Trustees: December 2008

Jay Walsh jwalsh at wikimedia.org
Wed Mar 11 16:07:05 UTC 2009

I'd be happy to field that.

At this stage it's very simply conversations with those who have a  
deeper understanding of brand, brand architecture, and brand  
development.  You raise probably the most important point of  
discussion (which has been around for a long time, I'm sure) - How do  
the brands of the Foundation and the projects, especially WP,  
interlock and affect each other.

Of course we have lots of hunches, and I certainly spend a lot of time  
talking about this internally and with outside people.  By engaging  
with people who have managed this kind of situation with hundreds of  
other organizations - especially non-profit, web/online properties,  
and (broadly) higher-education organizations, we're hoping to get some  
preliminary advice around what our brand means and how to  
strategically plan with brand in mind.

Initially that's conversations, but if we do proceed with someone  
(hopefully pro-bono, but we're considering options) it would initially  
include lots of outside analysis of the Wikimedia brands, who else is  
here, what it all means.  In fact the first phase, which is  
classically the biggest part of the work, is just helping the client  
understand their situation.  In this case it's essential that we have  
input and advice from many sources, not the least of which would be  
the community of volunteers.  I would suggest we have a pretty  
fascinating, complex situation :)  Many interwoven project brands and  
a lesser-known WMF brand. And on top of that we one of the most  
successful global brands on the web.

After research/analysis it may or may not include advice or changes to  
the brand, improvements - or maybe nothing at all. It's worth  
mentioning as well that brand does not necessarily include the  
'visual' aspects of trademark or look and feel of the visual  
identity.  More importantly it's about building a notional  
understanding of brand - words and ideas that best represent the  
mission, the projects, the people, the ideas - a simple approach.   
 From there we would hope to significantly streamline our  
communications work, improve the simplicity of the fundraising work,  
and hopefully just make it easier for the outside world to understand  
what the foundation is and what we're up to.

Still just conversations at this point, but I look forward to keeping  
you posted on how this work proceeds.

Thanks for your questions...

Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 609

On Mar 11, 2009, at 6:12 AM, Nathan wrote:

> I'm curious about the plans behind meeting with branding  
> specialists. What
> is the Foundation looking to achieve? Wider brand recognition of the
> Foundation itself (as opposed to the English Wikipedia)? Research  
> into brand
> penetration and audience perception, that sort of thing?
> Nathan
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org
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