Last week, I ran a well-received workshop on employee engagement and this week, I'm working with Mike Woroniak, Chief Creative Officer of Arcas Advertising to prepare a presentation for the IABC World Conference on the Behind the scenes of launching the IABC brand.

I have to admit that I'm quite proud of the work we've done, and the results we've achieved in a short period of time. A key part of our success was our focus on engaging stakeholders throughout the brand process that started in November 2013.

  • We engaged staff and executives on our International Executive Board (IEB), ensuring our strategic direction was aligned with the brand.
  • We engaged chapter and regional leaders, the ones who would have to implement the brand, in research and presentations that would take their needs into consideration and ensure they remained up to date with progress and deadlines.
  • We engaged members, some who were not initially pleased with the rebranding effort, in conversation, listening and reading their comments and concerns and answering their questions proactively.
  • We engaged competitors in research to help us understand what made IABC unique. Sometimes we took their advice, sometimes we didn't.
  • Most importantly, we engaged our taskforce. A group of volunteers passionate about the organization. We ensured each understood our vision, our mandate, and measures of success. We also ensured each individual could be proud of their contribution.

So what does engagement look like?

  • More than 80% adoption of the visual identity and close to 50% activation of the complete brand prior to the end of June 2016 deadline for visual adoption.
  • Little negative noise once the brand was launched. Members have embraced the new identity and we're truly starting to #createconnection with IABC.
  • Support by staff and the IEB on brand adoption. Beyond look and feel, I've enjoyed the Quarterly Reports and Michael Ambjorn's #CreationConnection Updates.
  • My favourite example of engagement comes from the brand taskforce. After disbanding a year ago once the IABC brand was launched, I asked them if they would consider helping me audit chapters and regions on their brand adoption. Almost everyone put their hand up to help.


Although there is still work to do on activation of the values, tone-of-voice and brand personality, we now have the data for continued support from the IEB.

Many of our taskforce members are also taking active roles on the IEB to keep the work alive. Thanks again to Maliha Aqeel, Zora Artis, Bonnie Caver, Dianne Chase, Maria Constantinescu, Alain Legault, Sharon Habib, Tessa O'Neil, Mike Jenkins, and Megan Wolfinger for all their work.

If you're going through a branding effort or simply focused on engaging stakeholders through change, come join Mike Woroniak and I at our IABC World Conference session on Behind the scenes of launching the IABC brand. We're happy to share the secrets of our success.

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