Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rebranding. Renaming. Reimaging. What’s an Association To Do?

Another request from an association professional: “We’re looking for a company that helps organizations re-brand themselves and even guide them towards a new name.”

As a former AMC owner and association consultant, I’ve been through three association logo changes, three name changes and more.

3 Reasons to Consider Change:

  1. Because your market has changed and current name does not reflect your members/prospects
  2. Because your image is “old and stale”
  3. Because your name/design does not reflect your new products/benefits

3 Examples & Process:

  1. We changed the logos for two national associations. Why? Because both were stale and reflected the “old” organization. Both needed updates. We worked with the boards who considered multiple options before they selected the new logo. The printed and online materials were changed to reflect the new logo and new image.
  2. We changed the names for two national associations. Why? The market had changed and both organizations desired names that better reflected the desired membership. The process began with the boards, strategic visioning and a desire to better reflect the target audiences. We produced several options. One organization opted to seek input from members.
  3. We changed the logo and design for all communications after an extensive market research and communications audit. Why? The research showed the negative impact of an old and stale look. It failed to reflect the changes resulting from the communications audit. The process involved two stages: first, the communications audit which identified needs; second, the branding research and logo designs. Following staff input, we presented a final logo design to the board.

Who Does It?

While the board has the ultimate authority in most organizations, several groups may be involved in the decision-making process.
  • Board staff act alone.
  • The Board may assign the work to either staff or a task force (or committee). 
  • The Board may ask that members provide input through market research.
Many association leaders recognize that the board and staff suffer from the “curse of knowledge.” They know too much and as a result have difficulty in making change and objectively considering the needs of members and potential members.
Providing an unbiased perspective is the major reason the board and staff seek advice of an outside consulting firm.

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