Merging Two Associations to Better Serve Members
After more than 70 years serving the corrosion prevention and coatings industry, NACE International and SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings, joined forces to better serve the corrosion prevention and coatings industry, and advance the future of materials protection and performance.
This merger meant NACE and SSPC would be able to offer more value to their members with a unified set of standards and certifications, greater access to resources, and an expanded worldwide network. But combining two major associations and creating a new name, brand, and visual identity that resonated with all of their members and reflected their value to the industry was a challenge.
While NACE and SSPC worked toward a common mission, they served very distinct audiences. Beyond Definition was tapped to bring the corrosion prevention industry’s two leading organizations under one umbrella, while executing a single brand identity representing over 54,000 active members in 130 countries.
NACE and SSPC are now AMPP: The Association for Materials Protection and Performance. Its brand strategy, visual identity, and launch campaign had an incredible response with the new organization’s transition team, board, and members. The AMPP brand was strategically designed to convey a sense of protection, strength, innovation, and energy on a global scale.
AMPP now has an established foundation to advance the corrosion prevention and coatings industries through member and workforce education, technological innovation, and global standardization. Most importantly, corrosion industry professionals are standing behind their new brand, together.
“You all offered really sound advice throughout the process. We came up with a strong brand that will live on for decades. What we all created will soon become part of the soul of AMPP.”
To build a brand that resonated with their new, combined audience, we needed to dive deep into their members, competitors, and individual brands (NACE and SSPC). This is where we started building an audience-centric brand to connect with their diverse membership and communicate their unique value.
Beyond conducting interviews, a brand and competitor audit, and launching a survey of thousands of members, we worked closely with NACE and SSPC to develop audience personas. The initial research supplied our team with enough information to identify and prioritize key audience segments, which became the basis for much of our creative strategy later on in the process. Personas ensured the right voices, views, and stakeholders were being heard and included. This led to better data, more valuable insights, and support internally for our findings.
FOUR CORE FOCUS AREAS FOR PERSONAS
TWELVE AUDIENCE PERSONAS IDENTIFIED
AMPP AUDIENCE PERSONA EXAMPLES
Leaning on the insights, feedback, and discoveries made in phase one, we developed an overarching and foundational brand strategy for NACE and SSPC that would guide the organization going forward on the what and the why of who they are to their audiences. The new brand aligns the two organizations as one, coming together to protect materials around the world by serving the industry through resources, training, and knowledge.
The brand strategy defines the mission of AMPP, why it matters to their audiences, and how it is brought to life in a unique and recognizable brand persona, voice, and messaging. It sets them apart from their competitors in everything from member engagement to branded assets, copywriting to design.
Rebranding is difficult. Add in renaming and you have one of the most difficult changes any organization can go through. Visibility, recognition, equity. Conflicts, trademarks, confusion. A new name needs to be accurate but inspiring. Unique and memorable. Tell a story, but be clear. Working with NACE and SSPC as true partners, leading them through both research and brand strategy, we developed a clear sense of who they were at the core and why it mattered. By developing personas, we had a deep understanding of not only their audiences of today, but their audiences of tomorrow.
The new organization is about protecting materials so they can perform. They traditionally had focused more on steel, concrete — the infrastructure of our society, but were also increasingly moving into new fields like medical devices. The core — protecting diverse materials so they can perform and be counted on — was powerful and uniting. They also wanted a descriptive, memorable name that was easy to pronounce. We presented them with dozens of concepts across a wide spectrum, and landed on a name to perfectly capture who they are, what they do, and why it matters.
The Association for Materials Protection and Performance (AMPP) is a name members proudly stand behind, and positions the organization as a leading, active voice for members and the community. AMPP is short, unique, easy to say, and has energy behind it — leading us into the visual identity portion of our work with a strong foundation to build on.
Part of our process, having worked with many clients to guide them through creating a visual identity, is to conduct a visual workshop to determine preferences for logos, typography, colors, imagery, iconography, and more. We then use this “visual language” to build stylescapes that act as a blueprint for the logo and visual identity.
Based on AMPP’s mission of achieving a safer, protected, and preserved world, the logo we created conveys a sense of global strength and protection. The hexagon is known throughout nature as one of the strongest geometric shapes, so the logo icon consists of a hexagonal and circular form. The central circle represents AMPP’s global footprint, and the world its members are protecting. As the hexagon wraps around the circle, it creates a dimensional union of two industries. The logotype harnesses an industrial sans serif font, which has been customized to mimic the curves and corners of the brand’s icon.
Our visual guidelines help to build awareness and excitement across multiple digital touch points including social media and web, while also providing an internal guide for NACE and SSPC to use when communicating the merger to external audiences.
AMPP LOGO VARIATIONS
Having built out a comprehensive visual identity, we created a campaign for launching the brand to membership and the industry. This is when our clients begin to see how the brand can really come to life across multiple channels with exciting creative. We created multiple campaign concepts designed to scale across channels and time, a story that can capture diverse audiences’ attention and be used for everything from digital ads, to social media content, to long-form digital and print materials. The campaign has a different focus for members (internal) and the industry (external) but works together to create more awareness, engagement, and understanding of the new brand with AMPP’s most important audiences.
DIGITAL AD EXAMPLES
PRINT AD EXAMPLE
NEWSLETTER AND EMAIL TEMPLATES