June 11, 2013
On June 5, Meg Meyer, VP Marketing from National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Angela Broderick-Bedell, Executive Director from the Greater Kansas City Medical Society and I led a discussion on “Repositioning Your Brand” at ASAE’s MMCC Conference in Washington, DC. More than 150 membership, marketing and communications professionals filled the room to hear stories from the trenches on how to push a new brand through an often resistant board.
Kelly Koczak, VP of Marketing for Produce Marketing Association (PMA) identified a “brand guru” on her Board who helped champion the year long process of launching a new brand for PMA.
Everyone agreed that if you are able to work with a consultant or branding firm, it is essential to select a partner that “gets” the association business.
Broderick-Bedell reminded us that, “We rebrand for the future. Communicate this to staff and leadership often, as there will be a tendency to react with resistance to a logo change.”
Speaking of logos, Meyer was tasked with distilling her then 53 (!) brand logos down to three critical brands. Combining that with a logo review process before a Board of 2,200 (!) made the ultimate logo choice that much more satisfying.
Koczak, meanwhile, had her “Board Champion” create a “brand steering committee” composed of her the Board Champion, herself and various PMA members with marketing backgrounds across geographies, generations and the supply chain. “We were then able to approach the Board with our decisions as opposed to soliciting opinions.”
I, myself, marveled that while everyone from leadership to membership to staff seems to have an opinion on a logo, most of them drift away when it come to the actual messaging. Meyer concurred adding that the messaging shift from NAHB as “The Voice of Americas Housing” to “Reshaping and Enriching Our Communities” was less fraught with drama than logo selection.
As far as measurement, we all admitted that repositioning is difficult to measure and that we rely heavily on anecdotal evidence such as that obtained directly from members. I was impressed that in a mere three years PMA went from being known primarily for Fresh Summit, its annual show, to being known as “a relevant, collaborative and visionary trade association.” That speaks volumes to the benefits of a repositioning!