As a state or regional association, your efforts shape the work of service providers throughout your state and represent not only your members but the residents and businesses relying on those members to stay connected. But if the association’s website or brand hasn’t been updated in years, it’s easy for your audience to miss the immense value of your work and your forward-thinking vision for the future.
With a clear path and expert guidance, you can ensure your brand reflects your mission and increases buy-in from members and residents throughout your state.
Consider Your Purpose & Audience
Do you know what message your current website, logo, and branding send to your audience? Does that message reflect your mission as it stands today or as it was 15 years ago? Considering these questions is a critical first step in ensuring your branding connects with your audience and forwards your mission.
In 2018, the Tennessee Telecommunications Association (TTA) decided it was time for a website update and turned to WordSouth for help. As they explored their mission and audience, WordSouth helped them realize they didn’t just want a new website. They wanted to ensure their brand would connect with members, legislators, and residents for years to come.
For decades, their name had accurately reflected their important work in the telecommunications industry. But that industry has changed. Broadband has become the critical focus for both service providers and state associations.
With that shift in mind, the TTA believed a new name and website URL would better reflect their work. They decided to rebrand as the Tennessee Broadband Association (TNBA) and launch tennesseebroadband.com. By rebranding to better connect with their audiences, the TNBA hoped to carry its strong history into a long and focused future.
Create New Brand Collateral
When you launch a new name, brand, or website, you’ll need new brand collateral to achieve your goals.
For TNBA, WordSouth began with a logo redesign. By incorporating a familiar element and color scheme, the new logo represented the brand’s modern mission while also building on the established brand recognition of the association.
From there, WordSouth went on to create a full suite of rebranded materials, such as:
- A new website with a user-friendly, modern design
- A video to announce the rebrand at the annual member’s meeting
- New social media profiles and content
- Pull-up banners, booth backdrops, and other brand collateral
- Branded materials for a new radio podcast titled Lead Tennessee
When the association’s leadership reviewed the plans and new brand in October of 2018, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Many of the committee members had already navigated rebrands within their own companies and were eager to see the association have an updated identity.
With leadership’s buy-in established, it was time to move forward with an announcement at the next annual member’s meeting, scheduled for June 2019.
Make the Announcement a Memorable Event
When your state association has had an established brand for decades, a simple announcement won’t be enough to solidify the transition in your audience’s minds. You’ll need to over-communicate your new brand to ensure everyone knows who you are and where you’re going as an association.
For TNBA, creating buzz and excitement around the brand with a memorable announcement at the annual conference was critical for establishing strong brand awareness with the relaunch. WordSouth set out to plan an announcement that attendees would remember for years to come.
When members first entered the meeting, everything reflected the TTA brand they’d always known. Nothing hinted at the big announcement to come. Then, during the meeting, WordSouth’s video captured the audience’s attention and made the big announcement: TTA would now be known as the Tennessee Broadband Association.
As the video came to a close, a coordinated effort allowed for a memorable moment in which all TTA materials were simultaneously replaced with TNBA-branded collateral. Pull-up banners on either side of the stage were suddenly raised. Sponsorship signs in the lobby were switched out. Tables full of free promotional items were set up. And, in the midst of the excitement, the association president revealed that everyone’s name tags were reversible.
As attendees flipped their name tags inside out to reveal the updated brand, the small physical act allowed each person to feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves—a rebrand that would benefit their companies and state.
As they exited the meeting and re-entered the lobby, everyone was struck by how different the room looked compared to when they’d entered it a short time earlier. They saw all new signage, previewed the newly launched website on a big-screen TV, and stopped to collect free promotional items on their way home.
The coordinated efforts at updating everything at the time of the announcement had an immediate payoff. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee was the luncheon speaker, and all news coverage of his appearance featured the new association name and branding. Already, awareness of the new brand was spreading far beyond the four walls of the member’s meeting.
The launch event was an undeniable success. Now, it was time to carry that momentum forward.
Plan for Ongoing Brand Awareness
Once you launch a new brand, a full communications strategy will help you continue to engage your audiences in a positive and effective way.
WordSouth partnered with TNBA to create a strategy for spreading brand awareness throughout the state in the weeks and months following the rebrand. That strategy included:
- Explanation Cards for Legislators – to eliminate any potential confusion in lobbying meetings
- Partnership with 4H – to elevate brand awareness with the next generation
- Marketing Committee Support – to confidently communicate the change throughout each member company
- Press Releases – to keep the new brand in the public eye
- Content Marketing Strategy – to make the website a strong digital presence with fresh, updated content
- Additional Content Creation – to engage audiences year-round with an email newsletter and a new podcast
Empowered with a clear strategy, fresh materials, and ongoing support from WordSouth, TNBA could move forward with confidence that their audiences would recognize and engage with their new brand.
Most state associations are far too busy to launch a new website or brand on their own. A turnkey solution from a trusted communications partner like WordSouth makes these big transitions smooth and attainable, even for teams with limited capacity.
After working with a number of state associations and their members, we understand your industry, your audiences, and your goals. Contact us today to learn how you can ensure a strong future for your association with a new website, total rebrand, or ongoing marketing support.
Email our Member Solutions team to start.