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The Brand Experience toolkit

[August 2007]
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Table of Contents

1.0 History of the AIESEC Brand


1.1 What is a brand?
1.2 Why do we have a global brand?
1.3 Brand Promise vs. Brand Experience: an evolution

2.0 The Brand Experience


2.1 An overview
2.2 Our competitors
2.3 Our target audiences
2.4 Physical manifestations
2.5 Benefits
2.6 Differentiator
2.7 Essence

3.0 Filter tool – how to use the Brand Experience in practice


3.1 Assessing your results
3.2 Finding support

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


1.0 – History of the AIESEC brand
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

History of the AIESEC brand

The global AIESEC brand as we know it today was launched by AIESEC International in 2004. The first Brand Toolkit included
explanations on what is a brand, why we need one and the steps in order to achieve that, including our Brand Promise, visual
guidelines and marketing campaign.

1.1 What is a brand?


A brand is more than just a logo, slogan or a colour scheme; it is the image and reputation that we want others to associate with our
organization. But, a brand is also more than just the image that we want others to have of us; it is also a description of the
organization that we want to be. A brand is an expression of your actions and what you do every day.

In AIESEC, our global brand is represented through our living The AIESEC Way. Our “Brand Experience” is the experience we
want our stakeholders (members, supporters and enablers) to live when they interact with AIESEC. The closer we can make this
experience to the entirety of our Brand Experience the more we are strengthening our global brand every day.

1.2 Why do we have a global brand?


Having a global brand allows AIESEC (1) to be more consistent and credible, (2) to attract more stakeholders and give AIESEC a
clear competitive advantage; (3) to attract the right stakeholders and to set the right expectations; and (4) to align the organization
to globally leverage the AIESEC Experience.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


1.0 – History of the AIESEC brand
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

1.3 Brand Promise vs. Brand Experience: an evolution


The Brand Promise introduced in 2004 was the start of the branding initiative from AIESEC International, bringing the network
together to have one visual identity and synergizing messages across the network. While the earlier brand promise helped quite a
bit to align the organization to be transmitting common messages, it was difficult to apply to products and also quite internally
focused, not providing reasons for partners to engage with AIESEC rather than our competition. The brand promise was made up
of words that we felt best described AIESEC, but there was no clear plan on how to use it in practice.

Now a few years later, we see the need to evolve this further in order for it to be used in practice, including how it should be used in
relation to product development and messaging—a crucial step on the path to creating a strong global brand for AIESEC. As a
result, with the help of consultants from Unilever, we now have what we call the Brand Experience. This methodology will serve as
a tool that can be used to filter everything we do quickly and easily to understand its alignment to our brand, which in the end
supports in its strengthening.

Unlike the brand promise which was internally focused, the Brand Experience first considers the outside environment and looks
inward, reflecting how our stakeholders actually experience our brand when they interact with AIESEC, and how we do things
differently than our competitors. By being conscious of this we can ensure that we are strengthening our global brand in all actions
we take, meeting the needs of our stakeholders and putting us ahead of our competitors at the same time.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.0 – The Brand Experience
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

The Brand Experience

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.1 – The Brand Experience: an overview
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

The Brand Experience: an overview


The Brand Experience is a simple way to understand how our target audiences (members, supporters and enablers) experience (or
interact with) the AIESEC brand. The interactions and touch points they have with AIESEC will shape the impression of what
AIESEC is to them, and by being conscious of this we can manage the kind of experience we would like our target audiences to
have with AIESEC.

The Brand Experience has several elements that will be discussed in more detail in this toolkit. They include:

• Our competitors (organizations offering similar products to our target audiences)


• Target audiences (our potential members, enablers and supporters)
• Physical manifestations (the first interaction point to AIESEC for our target audiences)
• Benefits (what our target audiences get out of engaging with AIESEC)
• Our Values (reflective of The AIESEC Way)
• Discriminator (what distinguishes us from our competitors)
• Essence (what we do in AIESEC, what we are about)

The next few pages of this toolkit will explain each section of the Brand Experience in more detail.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.2 – Our Competitors
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Our Competitors
Our competitors are other organizations that offer
similar experiences to our target audiences as we do.

They may be slightly or even very similar to us, based


on what they offer. These include organizations
offering:

• Work abroad opportunities


• Volunteer abroad opportunities
• Cultural experiences
• Skills development
• Networks

Although there may be a few common competitors for AIESEC across this globe (ie) IAESTE for internships or JCI for volunteer
opportunities, your direct competitors will differ from country to country, and perhaps even from city to city. It is important that you
are aware of such similar organizations and the work they are doing so that you are able to identify how AIESEC differs from their
activities and what we offer to our target audiences vs. what our competitors offer to them.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.3 – Our target audiences
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Our target audiences


As seen from our Balance Scorecard, our target
audiences can be divided into three distinct groups of
people:

• Members

• Enablers (TN takers, mentors and


learning/content partners), and

• Supporters (financial and in-kind partners, Board


of Advisors)

The kinds of characteristics we would be looking for in potential members, enablers and supporters include:

Characteristics for potential members:

• Young people – recent graduates and students


• Youth interested in world issues
• Those who enjoy challenges
• Open minded active learners
• Those with an interest in leadership development
• Passionate and determined
• Those looking for learning and development opportunities

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.3 – Our target audiences
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Characteristics for potential enablers:

• TN takers
o Companies expanding to other countries
o Companies that needs and employees with specific characteristics
o Companies with strong CSR or a willingness to start
o Issues focused; market leaders
• Learning/content partners
o Organizations working with issues relevant in society
o Global organizations (with global reach)
o Research-based organizations
o Individuals with specific skills/knowledge/experience in a particular field
• Mentors
o HR companies/specialists
o University professors
o Alumni
o Industry specialists

Characteristics for potential supporters:

• Sponsors, financial and in-kind


o Organizations working on similar issues relevant in society
o Companies/organizations that are working with youth
o Organizations with the same end benefit
• Board of advisors
o Industry specialists
o Alumni
o High profile people

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.4 – Physical manifestations
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Physical manifestations
This layer includes all the external touch points (or
interaction points) our target audiences have with
AIESEC. Thus, their first interaction point with AIESEC
will affect how they experience our brand.

This layer includes things such as our marketing


materials and visual branding guidelines (including our
logo), but also extends to much more than this.

The first interaction point that our target audiences have


with AIESEC including everything from physical
meetings to our website, conferences, even our Code of
Ethics, all shape the way our target audiences will
understand AIESEC.

Please note: the visual guidelines are currently being


refreshed. The newest version is expected to be released in
September 2007.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.5 – Benefits
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Benefits

Benefits are what our target audiences (or stakeholders)


get out of engaging with AIESEC. While the benefits are
the same for all target audience groups, the reasons why
they are a benefit for each target audience differs based
on the different “experiences” that these audiences have
with our brand.

These are the benefits that our target audiences experience when they interact with AIESEC.

• Societal impact

• Personal and professional development

• International experience

• Global network

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.5 – Benefits
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Although they are benefits for different reasons, the above four are benefits for all of our stakeholders, or target audiences. The
chart below explains this in more detail.

Societal impact
Benefit for members Benefit for supporters Benefit for enablers

 To have an impact on a certain  Knowledge sharing  Leadership development


issue  Feeling of supporting to make an  Feeling of contributing to having an
 Learning opportunity impact in society impact on society through others
 Providing the same experience
to others

Personal and professional development


Benefit for members Benefit for supporters Benefit for enablers

 Self development (leadership  Supporting development of others  Access to top talent; having top
development, self-discovery,  Feeling of supporting to make an talent in their organization
skill building) impact on society  Feeling of supporting to make an
impact on others

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.5 – Benefits
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Global network
Benefit for members Benefit for supporters Benefit for enablers

 Peers, alumni, businesses all  Connect to youth around the world,  Alumni, youth around the world,
over the world other organizations other organizations

International experience
Benefit for members Benefit for supporters Benefit for enablers

 Exchange opportunities, global  Interaction with members who  Diversity in workforce


learning environment, have international experience  Branding and positioning
international conferences, etc. (open minded/worldly)  Interaction with members who
 Branding and positioning have international experience
 International conference (open minded/worldly)
involvement

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.6 – Our values
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Our Values
Our values are an important part of the Brand
Experience. The organizational values defined in The
AIESEC Way were not made to be written up on a wall
and forgotten about. They dictate how we should act
according to our value system for the organization. Our
values are also what our target audiences experience
and live when they interact with AIESEC, thus they
definitely determine how others view us and experience
our brand.

Our values
Imagine a TN taker hears all about the ambitious top talented youth that • Demonstrating integrity
exist in AIESEC during his first interaction at a conference and decides to
taken on an intern for himself. Imagine that intern meets all his • Acting sustainably
expectations of being a bright, ambitious and passionate young person
• Activating leadership
that makes a big difference in the company. The impression that TN taker
will have of AIESEC will be quite good, because of the way he • Enjoying participation
experienced our brand. Now imagine the same situation but in a negative
way, this is not how we want our stakeholders to experience AIESEC. • Living diversity
That is why values are so important and interlinked with our brand.
• Striving for excellence

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.7 – Differentiator
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Differentiator
Youth driven impactful experience
Our differentiator is what makes us unique, or simply
put, what sets us apart from the competition. This layer
is very much linked with the next (the essence). While
the essence may not be unique to our competitors, our
differentiator is the unique point—how we do what we do
differently than our competitors.

Through the result of discussions held at the Global


Brand Principles meeting held in May 2007, three
concrete things that combined set AIESEC apart
include:

• Youth driven – the concept that AIESEC is run by youth for youth
• Integrated experience – the AIESEC experience comprised of leadership opportunities, an international exchange and a
global learning environment
• Impact/activating positive leadership – making a positive impact on society

To express these three differentiators in one sentence we have come up with the phrase: Youth driven impactful experience. Each
part of this phrase has a strong meaning behind it.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.7 – Differentiator
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Youth driven
This emphasizes energy, passion, emotion, and leadership or leading, essentially what AIESEC is about. It also reinforces
the fact that we are youth run.

Impactful
This is about the kind of experience that our stakeholders have when they engage with AIESEC, and the positive impact it
can have on them and/or on society.

Experience
The complete yet individual experience that our stakeholders have with AIESEC from a member’s AIESEC experience to a
TN taker’s experience with an intern to a sponsor’s experience at a conference. This experience draws together all aspects
of the AIESEC experience – leadership opportunities, international exchange and a global learning environment.

What the differentiator is not

This sentence is not meant to be used explicitly to explain AIESEC. The essence behind this statement is what matters. When
you are explaining what sets AIESEC apart these are elements that should come up in your explanation, though the actual phrase
“youth driven impactful experience” is not meant to be a slogan.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


2.8 – Essence
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

Essence
This is the essence of what we do as an organization.
This may not be different to our competitors, but it is the
centre of our actions. Our differentiator is how we do
this differently to our competitors.

Our essence is taken from the essence of the brand


promise: activating leadership.

AIESEC is about providing the platform and necessary


tools for youth to develop themselves, so that they can
have a positive impact on their environments.

Through activating leadership we also want to communicate the important role the individual plays in the experience - the self-
driven element. We do this through the concept of AIESEC as a platform of opportunities from which individuals can drive their own
experience.

The essence of activating leadership can be captured in three simple elements:

• AIESEC is the platform - individuals drive their own experience


• We help individuals to both develop and discover their potential
• Our ambition is to develop people that will have a positive impact on society

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


3.0 – The filter tool
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

The Filter tool – how to use the Brand Experience in practice


In order to use the Brand Experience in practice, a filter tool has been created which is a simple set of questions that you can apply
to any product or message to check if it is aligned to the Brand Experience or not. If it is not, using this tool will also help to indicate
what areas need to be improved in order for your product/messaging to be strengthening our brand.

To use this tool, you will need to have your product in question with you. Go through the series of questions below and answer
them using a “traffic light” system: green if the answer if completely true, red if it is completely untrue and yellow if it is somewhere
in the middle. The Filter tool questions:

Question Green Yellow Red

1. Is it true to the essence (activating leadership)?

2. Is it true to our differentiator (youth driven impactful experience) and thus


different to those offered by our competitors?
3. Is it consistent with or not contradicting any of our values?

4. Is it reflecting the international development experience in The AIESEC Way


(exchange, leadership, global learning environment) and our current
organizational strategy?
5. Is it reflecting at least two primary benefits?

6. Is it adhering to the visual guidelines?

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]


3.1 – Assessing your results
Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]

3.1 Assessing your results


After going through the filter tool above with a product, idea for a product or general messaging you should have a grid of
green/yellow and/or red that will give you an indication of how closely your assessment reflects the Brand Experience.

For products with many green’s, this is a very good representation of the Brand Experience and will help to strengthen our global
brand.

For products with many yellows, this should be an indicator that some parts of the product need to be worked on a bit more in order
to better reflect the whole of our Brand Experience and contribute to strengthening our brand. Use the Brand Experience filter tool
to help you identify what areas exactly need a bit of work in order to be more reflective of our ideal Brand Experience, and strive for
this.

For products with many red’s, first consider how much this product is reflecting our Brand Experience. If it is not, then it is not the
ideal way we would want our target audiences to interact with AIESEC. In this case, consider the need of this product in your LC or
MC and work out a plan to ensure the product will be redefined in the future, towards our Brand Experience, or consider phasing
out the product altogether, by finding other more aligned products to help meet the financial resources brought in by your non-
aligned product.

3.2 Finding support


The Global Communication Crew can help you to use this tool to help strengthen our brand. Check out the Global Branding
Community on www.aiesec.net for more information.

Brand Experience Toolkit [August 2007]