225,000 members say "shrm"

As the largest human resource management association, SHRM needs to communicate on two levels so that CEOs will invite the senior HR team into the boardroom and SHRM’s 225,000 members will recognize that SHRM is their path to professional success. In 2007, SHRM introduced a refined brand that clarifies its mission.  A materials audit revealed an old logo that was misused and underused. The new SHRM logo builds on the old, but with significant improvements. The new reflects how members and other audiences recognize “SHRM” verbally and integrates the old “HR” with “SHRM.” We deliberately maintained the equity in the old logo even as we brought forward a new look.  A new brand architecture and sub-branding system makes it easier for members to identify SHRM offerings and ends the proliferation of sub-brands in the extensive SHRM family of publications.

Leading up to the brand debut at the SHRM annual member conference and exposition in Las Vegas, the brand team fielded a cascading external rollout program. The plan was to engage chapter and other influential members and enlist them as brand champions. The brand strategy and program was introduced via Webinar and direct mailers to key constituents in several locations. Then the new SHRM took center stage, literally, in Las Vegas. Through the second half of 2007, the program was applied to all member communications and touchpoints, including a fully redesigned Web site.

The new look, feel and tone of all of SHRM’s materials take their lead from the logo; the color palette, image style and layout grid are contemporary and professional. But the star of this show is the SHRM “voice.” Extensive market research showed SHRM is considered to be the foremost provider of HR-related information. However, the value and relevance of the information was unclear to members, past members and non-members. Adding benefit headlines sells the value of the materials. Organizing publications by sub-brand identifies relevance.