The LLLI Image and Logo -- Think of It as a Brand
Heidi Sloss, Rachel O'Leary, Jane Tuttle, Sharon Vines, and Marcia Lutostanski,
LLLI Board of Directors
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 41 No. 4, August-September 2005, pp. 93-94.
LLLI has a brand image in the world and it is linked to our name and graphic logo. The LLLI name and logo are officially registered in many countries, which means their use is legally restricted to the owner, LLLI. LLLI needs the help of all Leaders to protect the organization from the misuse of our name and logo. LLLI has now granted the use of our name and logo to selected companies to manufacture and sell LLLI nursing bras that will be available later this year.
What Is a Brand?
As a La Leche League Leader you are very familiar with the words "La Leche League International" (LLLI) and with the LLLI mother and baby logo. The name and the graphic logo capture a feeling and an image for you -- they have meaning. It may seem strange to think in terms of a "brand" for our organization -- but it is important. Of course, LLLI philosophy is much more than a commercial marketing message -- yet our image needs to be cared for in order to preserve its integrity in the same way that a brand name is guarded by the corporation that owns it. The feeling, image, and meaning that you associate with our logo and name are the La Leche League brand.
Marketing expert Jonas Bergvall believes that, "Everything you remember about a company, through interaction, what other people say about them, advertising, using their products...is their brand for you" (www.allaboutbranding.com/index.lasso?article=389). You may not think of yourself as a brand conscious person, however, you do have impressions about the various products and services you use. Those impressions are part of the company's brand. Some companies spend millions of dollars each year just so people will recognize their brand name.
Brands such as Coca-Cola® and McDonalds® are recognized worldwide and have meaning to people when they see the name Coca-Cola or the logo drawing of the double golden arches. The La Leche League name has meaning, too. Our brand can be regarded positively, for example, when we are recognized as the world's foremost breastfeeding experts, and sometimes less favorably when we are considered as judgmental breastfeeding fanatics. Mothers' and others' experience with LLL influence their impressions of what our brand means.
Protecting the LLLI Brand
Because the LLLI brand has worth in the world, we need to protect it. The LLLI logo is a registered trademark throughout the world. This is what the ® sign means next to the logo and why it is so important to always include it as part of the logo. Recently, there have been several instances of companies using the LLLI logo drawing without permission. (See sidebar picture and history of the development of the LLLI Logo.) These companies were illegally using the LLLI logo on nursing bras and jewelry that they were selling. Because LLLI has spent considerable time and resources registering and protecting our brand name and logo, we were able to successfully stop these companies from using our brand name recognition to bring them profits.
Leaders' Role in Protecting the LLLI Brand
Leaders live all over the world and can protect the LLLI brand in various ways. Leaders protect the LLLI brand when they give good information and promote LLLI philosophy. Leaders can also notice when and where you see the words "La Leche League," "La Leche League International," and the LLLI mother-baby logo. Please let the LLLI office in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA know when you see the LLLI name or logo on products or publications that are not produced by LLLI or a part of LLL. If you see the LLL logo used in any way other than referring mothers to us for breastfeeding help, report it to Hedy Nuriel, LLLI Executive Director, by mail or at hnuriel at llli.org. Please copy your support person in your message or letter. If you are unsure whether a product or Web site has permission to use our logo, make a report.
The LLLI Board and Brand Protection
The LLLI Board of Directors also plays a role in protecting our brand in the world. We do this by assuring that the Leader Accreditation Department remains international so that accreditation is consistent and meaningful throughout the world. We also do this by making sure that the LLLI Publications Department continues to produce excellent breastfeeding books, pamphlets, and magazines that provide quality breastfeeding information and correctly and consistently portray LLLI philosophy. This way, when mothers read La Leche League breastfeeding information or see the name or logo, they know that it stands for our organization and the philosophy that we represent.
A New Venture -- the LLLI Bra
The LLLI Board is also responsible for ensuring financial stability and has decided to allow select licensing of the LLLI name and logo on certain nursing products. This decision has been carefully evaluated and considered to be in the best interest of La Leche League. The LLLI Executive Director, at the request of the LLLI Board, has signed an agreement with LZG Inc., the LLLI licensing agent. LZG Inc. has been authorized to find potential licensees to manufacture and sell nursing bras, nursing camisoles, nursing bathing suits, nursing pads, and nursing pillows with the LLLI name and logo. The LLLI Board requires that all licensees meet certain standards. For example, we will not do business with companies that break the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, and we wish to work with companies that treat their employees fairly. Expect to see more information about LLLI nursing bras sometime later this year!
Local Fundraising and Use of Logo and Name
Our commercial relationship with LZG or future licensees will not change Group and Leader fundraisings or affect publications produced by non-USA LLL entities. Leaders may continue to sell products with the LLLI name and logo for fundraisers and Area sales as allowed in the LLLI Policy and Standing Rules Notebook. (See Appendix 26, LLL Logo and Name Protection.) Appendix 26 should be consulted before anyone within the organization uses the LLLI graphic logo on products to sell.
There are guidelines within this policy (Appendix 26) about the correct presentation of the LLL logo and name. The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure the integrity of our brand by keeping the LLLI name and logo consistent, thereby preserving its worth and meaning. Please note that if Leaders use the LLL logo or the LLL name on items to sell, there is a royalty payment due to LLLI of five percent of the retail selling price. Sales of items with the LLL logo and name on them by LLL Groups, Areas, and Divisions must only benefit LLL entities, including LLLI; no profit or financial benefit may go to any individual. Additionally, any products which bear the La Leche League name and/or logo must be of high quality.
The LLLI name and logo can, of course, be used by LLL Leaders in publicizing their LLL activities, for example, on business cards, stationary, meeting notices, and posters. A digital copy of the logo is available for download in several formats on the LLL Community Network, and a Logo Rubber Stamp (189-13) may be purchased on the 2005 Leader Order Form.
Thank you for the excellent service that Leaders give all over the world! When you provide mothers with up to date breastfeeding information, mother-to-mother support, and access to LLLI philosophy, you protect our brand and reputation. When you report illegal use of our name and logo, you play a part in protecting our organization for the future. Our name and graphic logo coupled with our philosophy can become a universal symbol for mothering through breastfeeding. When people see, say, or think La Leche League, they are saying "breastfeeding"! This can happen because memories and impressions are what help form a brand. We are the womanly art of breastfeeding.
The Story of the LLL Logo