The New Haven Manufacturers Association (NHMA) was established in 1913. Its membership includes both manufacturing and non-manufacturing individuals and businesses. Over the years, meetings have led to many positive developments for these members and their surrounding communities. For a long time the focus had been on the Greater New Haven area, but as membership grew, NHMA found itself wanting to take a more state-wide approach.
By the year 2020, New Haven Manufacturers Association had outgrown its name. Originally referring to New Haven County, members had become representative of the whole state. It’s acronym, NHMA conveyed no meaningful clues or concepts about the organization’s purpose. Our challenge was to re-brand the organization to better reflect its current goals, needs, and relevance.
To approach this daunting feat, we decided to first take stock of how the brand was currently functioning across all its platforms and touchpoints. From there we used a series of workshops to help define the new brand's purpose and a plan-of-action. By the end we were able to achieve a new name, look, feel and focus that would be shared with members and the public at the NHMA 2020 Annual Meeting.
Red Rock still maintains a working relationship with ManufactureCT, but we have already shown much success that we want to share with you.
To take stock of the brand’s current performance, we completed a competitive analysis of the marketplace and a survey of everyone on the client’s mailing list to establish a baseline NPS score.
Red Rock clarified the client’s brand purpose through 3 highly collaborative workshops; Value Proposition Workshop, Member Transformation Workshop and Member Journey Workshop. These products ensure authenticity and relevance in the brands we build. An iterative, three-part process helped the whole team learn fast from the client’s marketing investments.
As a result of careful listening to the client, we crafted a Strategic Manifesto in the voice of the incoming Board Chair. The Manifesto outlined three major objectives or cross-cutting initiatives the organization would embrace, six ways the organization would accomplish these things, four programs and services animating these plans, and six things to look for as signs of success.
We settled on a name that would differentiate itself from other organizations by not being an acronym. Instead, ManufactureCT sounds like more of a campaign, even a movement.
We leaned on the fact that letters CT are included in the word Manufacture and used it to create our visual. We also wanted an open and inclusive feel to the brand, gender-wise, avoiding any “macho” associations with manufacturing that would seem inappropriate and outdated. Therefore we provided a soft blue counterpoint to the bright orange and grey color palette. To provide a sense of continuity along with freshness and change, so we only changed the tagline slightly from Manufacturing Makes the Future to Make the Future. This, to us, sounded more active, dynamic, and direct, and the client agreed.
We applied the new brand to a style guide that included concrete examples of brand application, from swag to business cards to vendor tents.
The NHMA website got a makeover to reflect the new name and brand. To optimize SEO and ensure continuity, we orchestrated redirects from the old domains.
Existing social media accounts were updated with the new branding and new accounts were made where appropriate. Social media was an important tool for advertising the 2020 Annual Meeting (Brand Launch) and will continue to be an important tool in our plan moving forward.
WORKSHOPS & EVENTS
We decided to create a monthly cadence of workshops feature special guests and businesses within the Connecticut community. Town Hall meetings, panel discussions, and author chats are just some of the type of special events that have been hosted. These events and workshops bring a great value to the organization are something people can look forward to every month.
The launch of the new brand was presented at the organization's 2020 Annual Meeting. Our community engagement and public relations response to the Covid-19 pandemic brought the organization’s Annual Meeting into virtual space with powerful impact. The meeting was broken into four sections 1. Housekeeping and Official Business 2. Why Manufacturing Matters, in the words of manufacturers 3. Rebranding Reveal and 4. Congratulations from politicians and influencer. To close we had the Executive Director issue a call to action about membership and upcoming events, and distributed a detailed press release and digital goodie bag. Above are a few clips from the event.
225 attendees signed on, with all but 20 remaining on our Zoom webinar platform until the very end (98 minutes, in total). Retention proved to be higher than the client has seen in past years with the traditional dinner and a keynote speaker format.
WOW! I can't say enough great things about Glen and the team at Red Rock. When NHMA needed a new brand and logo we put this sometimes taxing and difficult task to the test with Red Rock. Why? Well not only were we rebranding a 100 year old organization to a new name that supported it's statewide growth, we did it during a pandemic! And...not only did we want a new brand but we wanted to roll it out at our annual meeting which also happened to be during a pandemic. The results? ManufactureCT was presented to our members and supporters on 6/11/2020 to over 220 attendees during a virtual meeting run by the Red Rock team! It was amazing! Red Rock's work exceeded our expectations.