“Co-operatives cannot simply be different or better and hope that the world finds out. We must actively manage the cooperative image” this is a passage from the preface of Communication Guide on the Cooperative Identity written by Charles Gould, Director General of the International Cooperative Alliance.

At the International Summit of Cooperatives last year, Pauline Green, International Cooperative Alliance president said: “There is an appetite to show that cooperatives are proud to be part of a global movement and want to show their support cooperation. Our goal is that the cooperative identity becomes one of the best ethical brands in the world by 2020.”

As of this week, 1,000 co-operatives from 90 countries have registered to use the co-op marque. There are currently 87 Canadian co-operatives who have signed up.

The web address extension .coop, has existed for a number of years now. It is a unique name which also helps to identify a co-operative and build a common identity. A Website that uses the domain is automatically included in an international co-op directory, allowing people to find them more easily.

There are now more than 8,000 .coop domain names as well with 258 Canadian co-operatives having registered 436 .coop domains.

The Communicators Guide on the Cooperative Identity is a booklet that explains how to use the cooperative identity. It includes tips and tricks to making it work for your organization, including how to successfully align it with your own logo. Some interesting real world examples are included to illustrate best practices.

In addition to The Communicators Guide the complete guidelines document is also a key to successfully using the co-op marque.

The alignment marque and .coop domain are available to any co-op at identity.coop