That’s an interesting point, Steve, and NPS and FBI are two very strong brands, as you suggest. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the fact that they seem to have a bigger brand than their parent agencies. They’ve both carried out their missions in clear and visible ways for decades.
My concern is the fragmentation of otherwise perfectly good brands — I’ve seen quite a few instances of gov’t organizations deciding that the best way to sell the value of something they do is to create another brand beneath or apart from the one they’ve already got.
More often than not, we’d be better off selling the idea that an existing brand can offer an even greater suite of services and products than Congress, citizens, media, etc., might have known we could.
Not only does over-branding weaken a brand, but it also implies that branding is something that can be taken lightly and executed without informed expertise. It undermines the role of the professional federal communicator.