29 Apr 2014
Applications for the COOP marque have passed a milestone of 500.
Co-operatives from 67 countries have applied for the marque to be used as a visual identity – with many opting for a .coop domain too.
The International Co-operative Alliance developed the global identity for co-operatives to align with, which alongside the .coop domain creates a collective identity.
Nicola Huckerby, marketing lead for Domains.coop and the COOP marque, said using both the marque and domain helps differentiates co-operatives from other forms of business.
"Co-operative Identity is a marketing asset – placing the new Marque on their website homepage, email signature, advertising and promotions, products and packaging, makes people more aware of what they are choosing when faced with the option between a co-operative or an investor or privately-owned business," said Mrs Huckerby.
"Using a .coop domain as your primary web extension and email address demonstrates to your members and customers that you are proud to be a co-operative and are not hiding behind a .com or .org.
"Used together the Marque and a .coop domain demonstrate our unity of purpose."
One of the first organisations to register for the marque was the US-based Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA). The organisation, which supports co-operatives across the city, is actively using the identity to promote its co-operative difference.
Caitlin Quigley, a member of PACA's steering committee, said the marque is an asset to its member co-ops and credit unions to raise awareness about the model. She said: "We were so excited to hear about the launch of the new global cooperative marque and decided to register for several reasons. We just loved the design - it's elegant, clean, and versatile. It fit in well with our existing print and online materials."
The organisation also works across a variety of sectors from housing to food to credit uninons, and said marque helps to connect these individual sectors. "We are an alliance of co-ops from very different sectors," said Ms Quigley. "We want people in the Philadelphia region to recognise that housing co-ops, food co-ops, worker co-ops, energy co-ops, and credit unions all share a commitment to the seven international cooperative principles.
"We use the marque in our materials and encourage our member co-ops and credit unions to use the marque too. It creates a visual link between otherwise separate sectors and lifts up their co-operative structures as an important part of their identities."