SMPS Brand Launch – FAQ
Who was involved in the rebrand and how long did this process take?
The SMPS board of directors, staff, and agency partners have been hard at work on rebranding the Society over the past two years.
In 2016, we engaged a research firm to identify perspectives, opinions, needs, and desires of our members. All members were invited to participate, and hundreds did so through surveys and focus groups.
In late 2016, we formally adopted our new vision statement: Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership.
In 2017, we engaged another agency to advance this research into specific branding components, including messages, graphic identity, products, services, and the member experience.
At Build Business 2018, the new brand was launched during our Friday, August 17, business lunch entitled, “The Big Reveal” with our Chief Executive Officer, Michael V. Geary, CAE, and our Vice President of Marketing, Josh Miles.
Why is SMPS rebranding now?
Our new brand identity and all its components reflect a need to be current and relevant to our various audiences. And it represents the first time in approximately 15 years since we’ve made a comprehensive update to our visual identity.
SMPS is a brand that we all get excited about. Those of us close to the Society know how amazing and supportive this group is. We are inviting, warm, welcoming, energetic—it’s where your network is built and where business gets done.
From the early days, SMPS has sought to highlight the value that marketing and business development bring to the A/E/C industries. For 45 years, SMPS has been going against the grain to reinforce that design and construction can’t just be “design and construction.”
We have been flipping the script on this perspective for a long time, and now we’re ready to proclaim that story to the rest of the world.
The objective is to motivate people to rally together to create a role for all marketers to become vital dynamic members of the A/E/C industries who not only support but lead the growth of our companies.
Just like when you rebrand your firm, we went through the same efforts of testing multiple graphic designs, tweaking the words—the brand voice—over and over, updating the website, and, of course, a few hiccups along the way.
To be clear, this is not about a new logo. This is to position SMPS at the center of business growth for your firms.
What is the business strategy behind the rebrand?
In 2018, SMPS officially adopted a new strategic plan that seeks to accomplish the following three things:
First – We are exploring necessary changes to the organizational structure and how we support our chapters and regional conferences, for example, to standardize the SMPS experience among all of our offerings. We know each SMPS member experience varies dramatically across our 58 chapters due to a lack of coordinated consistency. Our goal is to make sure all chapters exist culturally and operationally as one SMPS while still allowing for some local creativity.
Second – We need to change the marketing efforts to reach firm leaders to solicit their support. We see a significant weakness in the perception of SMPS among the leadership of A/E/C companies who typically do not understand the value of SMPS to their organizations.
Third – We intend to vigorously market SMPS and the value of marketing. Marketing in general seems underappreciated at the executive level. We are going to adequately and broadly communicate the value of marketing, define the terms marketing and business development in the A/E/C industries, and enumerate how they can impact firm performance.
We are currently in the process of creating actions to help us achieve all of these goals, and our rebrand is a vital part of this.
This plan and related activities have been developed and driven by our members. This reflects your desires and the board’s understanding of what we need to do to promote you as professionals and support your careers. At the same time, we should all remain focused on our vision. In doing so, we will transform our firms and the A/E/C industries.
The strategic discussions have been part of a larger, master plan to enhance the products, experiences, and perceptions of SMPS—our brand. It’s important that our organization continues to grow and that professionals look to SMPS as the standard for marketing and learning, and as a welcoming community of professionals.
What is the new brand voice?
The new SMPS brand voice is bold, focused, and motivating. Messaging will evoke community, inspire confidence, and communicate a clear path for the future.
Our new brand essence is “The Marketing-Led Revolution.” And our goal is to rally members to join an industry-wide movement to change the role of marketing in A/E/C.
What is the new identity about?
Our new brand colors, which we are calling “revolution orange” and “business black,” are literally the opposite side of the color wheel from our days of navy blue and white. The new logo mark is set in a strong, bold, and friendly lowercase typeface. It is clean and easy to read at any size, and provides our organization with a fresh new visual identity. The bar below the “m” echoes back to the previous version of the logo, emphasizing the value of marketing within this organization.
When will it be live everywhere?
The new SMPS brand was launched at Build Business 2018, including a redesigned smps.org website and affiliated sites, social media platforms, and videos. In addition, new SMPS logo swag was made available to attendees, with additional branded items soon available for purchase. Our brand launch at Build Business was only the beginning, and there is much work left to do.
In addition, many chapters have already updated their websites with the new logo, vision, and mission statements.
What does our chapter need to do, and when?
Chapter leaders have already been made aware of the new logos—both the Society-wide version and chapter logos—and all of the new brand standards, which are currently available on MySMPS.org.
Our goal was to have the new chapter logos up on all of the chapter websites by the end of September 2018, along with our mission and vision statements.
In October 2018, HQ will mail a package of promotional collateral to every chapter, as well as posting items on MySMPS for things like stationery templates and promotional materials.
Our chapters are encouraged to make wise use of any printed items they have on hand with the previous logo. They need not throw those things out immediately. The goal is to have all items refreshed, and all chapters in full compliance with the new brand identity by September 2019.
As with any brand rollout, it will probably take us a little while to replace all of our items, but we’ll be working hard to make updates across the board. We are not just swapping out the old logo with the new.
We’re excited to hear your feedback on the new brand and are very excited about the future of SMPS. Many thanks to our volunteer leaders, the staff, and you for encouragement and contributions to this project.
If you have a specific request, you can contact Josh Miles via the SMPS website contact page. Just select “Marketing” from the drop-down menu or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.