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Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/2017-2018/Final/Wikimedia Brand and Identity

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Wikimedia Brand and Identity

Teams: Communications, Advancement (Partnerships & Global Reach)

Program Leads: Executive sponsors: Heather Walls, Lisa Gruwell; Zack McCune (Communications), Chuck Roslof (Legal), Adele Vrana (Partnerships & Global Reach)

Strategic Priorities: Communities, Reach

Timeframe: 12 months

Description FY17-18 Plan
Wikimedia Brand and Identity[1] Description of Brand and Identity Expenses
Staffing Expenses
Non Staffing Expenses -
Data Center Expenses -
Grants -
Endowment Contribution -
Donation Processing Fees -
Outside Contract Services 850 Includes three primary elements:
  • Costs for contractors and agencies to redesign wikimediafoundation.org
  • Contractors, agencies, and/or consulting firms facilitating several phases of a brand and identity project including: Brand audit, architecture, story, recommendations and elements (see further information below).
  • Project management to facilitate the program
Legal Fees -
Travel & Conferences -
Other expenses (Wikidata, Personal Property Taxes) -
Total Program Expenses 850

Table notes:

  • Brand audit - Review our brand's market position, competitors, consumer perceptions, and global market variance
  • Brand architecture - Review the ecosystem of brand participants, from volunteer editors, to donors, to press, to readers, to Foundation teams
  • Brand story - Review overarching brand value, what must all regions share, what can be and should be localized
  • Brand recommendations - Review and determine how the brand could be improved, corrected, repositioned to succeed through 2030
  • Brand element updates - Reacting to some of the recommendations: how can design and messaging go to work right now?
  1. Movement Strategy and Wikimedia Brand and Identity will be funded with Board Designated Funds.


The Wikimedia brand — which is really the trust that the public has in the projects because of the efforts of volunteers — is one of the most valuable things we steward. As the Foundation, we maintain strong trademark protections, ensure the Wikimedia brand is consistent and protected from abuse and misappropriation, and work to increase brand awareness around the world. Wikimedia’s vision is for everyone to share in all knowledge, and good use of the brand is part of how we reach toward that incredible goal.

We work with the Wikimedia communities to enable and facilitate mission-aligned use of the brand. With them, we seek opportunities that spread awareness of the values of Wikimedia. We also enforce against misuse of the Wikimedia trademarks in order to protect the brands and keep the public’s trust.

There are countries where the Wikimedia brands and trademarks are not widely recognized, and in many of these our brand is not being associated with knowledge. In those places we have an opportunity to increase awareness by researching, collaborating with different third parties that are re-using and distributing Wikimedia content, and creating campaigns to grow our communities.


Following a discovery process, build a brand strategy and underlying architecture that helps the Wikimedia movement and projects reach their goals and fulfill potential. We need to create this strategy with our global community in a way that supports the durability of Wikimedia, and near-term goals of movement members. We will continue to allow and seek out uses of the brand that align with our goals, and ensure the trademarks are protected as we expand brand awareness. At the same time, we will continue to stop and prevent uses that have the potential to damage the brands and trademarks.

Segment 1: Brand

Lead Team: Communications


  • Outcome 1: The Wikimedia Foundation has a clear understanding of existing brand perceptions, with formal benchmarks for measuring future shifts.
  • Outcome 2: The Wikimedia Foundation aligns its strategic approach for advancing Wikimedia brand to Movement Strategy.
  • Outcome 3: The community and our partners have expanded and expedited systems for use of Wikimedia brand marks.


  • Objective 1: Evaluate and measure uses of Wikimedia brands by communities and partners.
  • Objective 2: Create a brand strategy that outlines clear objectives, uses, measurements, and tactics for improving usage of Wikimedia brand assets.
  • Objective 3: Create a durable brand architecture that supports the goals of Wikimedia communities and projects.
  • Objective 4: Establish new workflows for requesting brand usage and create documentation to guide both community and partner use case cases.


  • Milestone 1: Design an inclusive and collaborative stakeholder engagement process that aligns with movement strategy efforts. (Q1/Q2)
  • Milestone 2: Brand measurement studies complete in 3 key markets by November 2017. (Q2)
  • Milestone 3: Develop a brand strategy with milestones and targets TDB, based on milestone 1.
  • Milestone 4: Brand strategy documents shared with Community leads and to Meta-Wiki, time TBD during milestone 1
  • Milestone 5: New systems for brand licensing and logo usage introduced, time TBD during milestone 1

Segment 2: Trademarks

Lead Team: Legal


  • Outcome 1: The Wikimedia Foundation has the rights and tools necessary to protect the Wikimedia brand.
  • Outcome 2: Third-party uses of the Wikimedia brands align with our mission and brand goals.
  • Outcome 3: The Wikimedia Foundation continues to prevent misuse of the Wikimedia brand.


  • Objective 1: File, maintain, and defend trademark registrations worldwide.
  • Objective 2: File, maintain, and defend domain name registrations.
  • Objective 3: Facilitate mission-aligned community and external uses of Wikimedia. marks through our trademark policy and by granting trademark licenses.
  • Objective 4: Send cease and desist notices and file complaints in response to trademark infringement.

Segment 3: Partner brand usage

Lead Team: Advancement (Partnerships & Global Reach)


  • Outcome 1: The Wikipedia brand is properly recognized and attributed by third-party content distributors, increasing awareness of our marks for new readers in emerging markets.


  • Objective 1: Identify existing third-party products/services distributing WP content with high potential to collaborate/partner with Wikimedia.
  • Objective 2: Develop "intermediate" branding that can be used by third-parties distributing Wikipedia content (i.e., "powered by Wikipedia").
  • Objective 3: Collaborate/partner with third-party product/services that will use "intermediate" branding to properly attribute WP content, raising awareness in target countries.