Association for Corporate Citizenship Professionals

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How Does an Association Launch a New Brand That Resonates with Existing and Prospective Members?

The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals has been the leading membership organization for CSR-minded professionals for over a decade and a half. While ACCP’s history and legacy in the field are among their greatest assets, the brand needed to be modernized to showcase ACCP’s ability to continually evolve and stay one step ahead of the growing industry. In the fall of 2018, ACCP engaged Mission Partners to create a new visual brand and messaging. To go along with the updated brand, ACCP also worked with Mission Partners to redesign ACCP’s website to create a better, more efficient user experience.

At this time, the organization had recently undergone a leadership transition, and a new CEO meant a new era for ACCP. The corporate citizenship field is changing rapidly, and ACCP’s prior messaging and visual branding didn’t convey ACCP’s expertise and recent growth. Updating ACCP’s brand was a necessary step in growing the membership base, further engaging current members, and better articulating the breadth of the services ACCP offers. At the start of this project, Mission Partners conducted a brand audit and peer set review to better understand how members perceived ACCP and how ACCP’s presentation was tracking against competitors. These initial assessments showed that from a messaging standpoint, ACCP’s talking points weren’t clear enough, and they didn’t fully capture ACCP’s growth and how the corporate citizenship field has evolved. And from a visual standpoint, the logo didn’t stand out or convey anything about corporate citizenship.

Now, ACCP’s new visual identity is professional, but approachable, and the three interlocking circles in the logo represent the “triple bottom line” approach: people, planet, and profit. For messaging, Mission Partners led ACCP through the process of establishing a messaging hierarchy and updated talking points, which make it simpler for members and the board to share what they love about ACCP. As part of a more encompassing communications plan, Mission Partners also created a brand book, a year-long communications strategy, member recruitment materials, social media graphics and templates, and a member benefits explainer video, “What an ACCP Membership Means for You,” all of which helped advance ACCP’s goals of retaining and growing their membership base.

For the final component of the rebrand, Mission Partners worked alongside ACCP and a third-party vendor during the summer and fall of 2019 to redesign ACCP’s website to reflect the new brand. What was once a difficult-to-navigate site filled with an overload of information, is now a more engaging, streamlined platform for current and potential ACCP members. Along with the new website, Mission Partners also redesigned ACCP’s newsletter template for The Wrap, which simplified the weekly creation process for ACCP, and established a stronger hierarchy of information so readers can find information more easily.

ACCP’s rebrand was a crucial step in prioritizing the growth of the organization and further establishing ACCP as the leader in the corporate citizenship field. Mission Partners continues to support ACCP through member acquisition, ACCP Conference, and overarching communications and thought leadership strategies.

“We are proud to introduce ACCP’s new brand, which reflects our ongoing mission to empower corporate citizenship leaders to strengthen their companies and improve the world. This new branding recognizes that our field and our association are ever-evolving, and reflects the energy and vibrancy that our members bring to corporate citizenship every day.” —Carolyn Berkowitz, President & CEO