A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission
After solidifying the narrative with the bond to the stakeholders, DHS could create an overarching brand identity. Strategically linking the missions, security and public safety resonate through all the DHS operational agencies and support functions. Creating a clear, compelling identity that is broad enough to capture all the missions with a common association, including the relationship capability with the public, is not easy.
The DHS brand identity promotes prosperity and security with a desire of a collaborative forum that enables the essence of the organization to execute its multiplex operation. Does it strike the customer with emotion? Does it give employees an identity around which to rally? Momentum builds with a clear understanding of the mission set; this in turn standardizes across the spectrum of customers and employees and increases the brand’s value.
Great brands convey emotion, aspiration, and in the case of DHS, the importance and meaning of the mission.
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), created in 2003, undertook the most significant reorganization of federal agencies since the Cold War. It brought together federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies with a focus on securing the U.S. from threats in a collaborative way. DHS pulls together five complex mission areas: preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience.
How do all of DHS’ missions tie together to communicate a singular experience of public service? What approach would help communicate the collective meaning? A unified branding strategy can align all five missions into a look, feel, and message that provides the public with an emotional imprint of the agency.
The unified brand strategy starts with the story of the organization. Every strong brand needs a great narrative. That story needs to capture the customers’ association to the services and distinction that DHS provides, and it can represent the employees’ values and culture that connects to the heart and soul of the institution. The storyline communicates the purpose. It provides a picture for the personnel and how their important work turns into positive outcomes—even when their work must go unnoticed because the people who are safe cannot know about the efforts.