5 ads, before and after Academy rebrand. Ads were revamped not only in design, but in voice, brand words and attributes.
1/2: Surgical Scope Fund. 3/4: Membership. 5/6: EyeNet Magazine. 7/8: Orbital Gala. 9/10: Ophthalmic Medical Assisting.
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF OPHTHALMOLOGY:
FULL COMPANY REBRAND
The Academy's visual presentation was outdated, drab, and inconsistent. Our voice was restrained and stodgy. Members were unaware that some of our major assets were created by us, resulting in thinking the Academy lacked innovation and creativity.
In 2013, the American Academy of Ophthalmology began the process to fully rebrand our 32,000-member organization.
This initiative went far beyond a new logo, palette, and font. It included our tagline, brand architecture, written voice, streamlining internal processes, and enforcing stricter adherence to brand guidelines by all departments.
I was a member of the original cross-functional team of 18 staff who conducted the full brand audit required to compile the RFP for branding agencies.
I continued as a member of the five-person core Brand Team (along with my VP and three directors) who further defined our new brand strategy and led Academy staff through the rebranding process. This included:
Acting as lead copywriter and brand liaison for internal clients throughout the Academy
Reviewing every single branded thing, from marketing collateral and stationery to achievement pins and building signage.
Fine-tuning our new brand guidelines for visual and written communication
Creating document templates
Establishing best practices for various types of communications
Training all 200 Academy staff
Our transformation won us a finalist position for Rebrand/Relaunch Strategy of the Year in the Drum Marketing Awards competition—competing with the likes of renowned agencies Saatchi, Mondelez International, and Leo Burnett; and brands such as Iceland, FujiFilm, and Oreo.
We soft-launched the new brand at the Academy Resource Center at AAO 2015 and completed the transformation company-wide in December 2016. We continue to fine-tune and perfect. In early 2019 we introduced the next phase, wherein we further defined naming conventions and added new design elements to our existing brand toolbox.
One year after the rebrand, surveys and focus groups reported heightened awareness of innovations, sense of community, and pride. More members understood that important initiatives such as the ONE Network (the world's largest online compendium of ophthalmic education), EyeWiki, EyeSmart (patient education), and EyeCare America (public service program) were Academy programs.