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SHRM Realigns Its Global Brand

By Greenfield/Belser
June 24, 2007
SHRM Realigns Its Global Brand

The brand design agency Greenfield/Belser completes a landmark branding assignment for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

SHRM is the largest HR management association and the global leader in HR-related publications, conferences, education, tools and advocacy. The new brand debuted this week to 20,000 members at SHRM’s annual conference and exposition in Las Vegas.

“Our goal has been how best to define the SHRM brand to sustain and expand its 210,000-person membership base,” said Burkey Belser, President and Creative Director of Greenfield/Belser. “But it is just as important that SHRM educate those outside the profession about HR’s critical business contributions.”

“Human capital is recognized by almost every business as a key asset. Yet not every business understands the strategic role HR plays in making the most of those assets,” said Sue Meisinger, SHRM President and CEO. “Our brand promise is to help members do their jobs better, develop professionally, connect with others and set strategy. At the same time, we help the CEO recognize the value of the HR role in improving business performance.”

The branding effort touches every aspect of SHRM communications. The highlights are:

  • new master brand and introduction of sub-brand system. The new SHRM logo still allows people to see the original “HR” from the old mark, but acknowledges that the rank and file say “SHeRM.” A new brand architecture makes it easier for members to identify SHRM offerings and ends the proliferation of sub-brands in the SHRM family of publications.
  • new look, feel and tone for SHRM’s extensive communications collateral. Touching everything from color palette, image style, layout grid, the use of master-and sub-brands and the “voice of SHRM,” the brand identity system makes SHRM materials recognizably SHRM.
  • all-hands internal rollout program. To make its own people and leaders true stewards of the brand, SHRM planned and executed a six-week internal campaign that included a kick-off event, spirit video, posters, screensavers, emails and tchotchkes—all aimed at giving those on the inside the knowledge to make the brand their own.
  • cascading external rollout program. Leading up to the brand debut at the annual member conference and exposition, the program was introduced via Webinar and direct mailers to key constituents in several locations. The brand then took center stage at the conference. Through the second half of 2007, the program will be applied to all member communications, including a fully redesigned Web site.
  • two new ad campaigns; one unifying tag line. The first ads, scheduled to run in HR and related trade publications, aim to inspire members. The second campaign is designed to reach the C-suite in order to reposition the HR function. The tag line, “Leading people. Leading organizations.” is featured prominently in both campaigns.
  • a full set of brand standards. Brand standards were codified to guide the efforts of multiple designers and vendors working with over 550 SHRM chapters and across the organization’s extensive publishing, conference and education units.

“This is defining work,” said Stacey Holvenstot, SHRM Director of Marketing and Business Development. “It goes deeper than how we look. It’s really about how we communicate—in person, in print, online and all ways in between.

“Our research showed that we are highly regarded as the foremost provider of HR-related information. But the value and relevance of that information was not always clear. Now we have the tools to meet that challenge.”

ABOUT SHRM
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 210,000 individual members, the Society’s mission is to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most essential and comprehensive resources available. As an influential voice, the Society’s mission is also to advance the human resource profession to ensure that HR is recognized as an essential partner in developing and executing organizational strategy. Founded in 1948, SHRM currently has more than 550 affiliated chapters and members in more than 100 countries.