Are You Rebranding or Redecorating?

By Ashley Roy

As a marketing professional one of the key responsibilities of my job is to ensure my client has a strong brand that promotes the mission of the association and its members.  This past week an ASAE discussion thread about rebranding an association was shared with me, around some potential brand conversations.

One thing in this thread stuck out to me, “What some people call ‘rebranding’ is often just ‘redecorating’.

I couldn’t agree more.

Your association brand is more than just a logo and a color scheme. It is the emotional response of members to your organization, your mission, your messaging, your values, your services – everything you do wraps into the brand package.

So that presents the question are you rebranding or just redecorating?

If you are not looking at the why, or thinking about what organizational behaviors accompany this change then you are probably redecorating. And that’s okay too! Logos and colors should be refreshed over the years to reflect current trends and attract the next generation of members.

If you are looking to rebrand though, consider these questions first:

  • Who are we? Purpose, vision mission and values should be discussed here.
  • What is the current perception of our association? How do members see the organization and does that line up with the purpose and mission.
  • What do we want the perception of our association to be? What message are you trying to convey with this updated look and does it position you for the growth you want.
  • Who is our audience?
  • How have we evolved?
  • Is our purpose effectivly conveyed through our brand?
  • Do we have/need/want a tagline? Your brand identity is often the first thing a potential members sees and mission statements can be lenghty. Use a tagline to speak directly to their needs.
  • Do we need to differentiate ourself?
  • Are we being reactive or proactive with this change?
Once you answer these questions you can build out a full brand plan and determine the next steps that are best for your organization.
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