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Marketing Tips with Karen Bebart, NAR’s Managing Director, Marketing NAR Boosts Brand Value with New Logos

January 1, 2011

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ marketing department manages and maintains the association’s branding and graphic standards.

Prior to June 2010, NAR’s branding and graphic standards hadn’t been updated for 10 years, and didn’t cover the needs of newer communication channels, such as e-mail newsletters and banner ads. Additionally, a substantial number of new logos had been developed for NAR programs, services, and even departments in the last few years without any consistent format. This flood of logos was beginning to dilute and undermine the strength of the parent NAR logo, jeopardizing the value of the $3 billion REALTOR® trademark. It was definitely time to update and expand these guidelines to be more user-friendly.

When information about an NAR program, product, or service is communicated to the -REALTOR® family, it must be instantly recognizable as coming from the national association and appear in a consistent way. That’s why the ultimate goal of our latest update was to visually connect all that NAR does and allow the REALTOR® family to see one multifaceted association.

After engaging a branding agency partner, we set out to understand member perceptions through both quantitative and qualitative analyses. We found that members best associate the NAR logo when they see both the block “R” membership mark and the words NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. We also learned that 85 percent of members are more likely to trust and open information about a program or service if they know it’s from NAR.

We then conducted meetings to understand what each NAR department and program communicates, through which channels, and to which major audiences. Armed with research results, we set to work developing a new, overarching brand architecture that consistently leverages the NAR master brand. This was a challenge because the block “R” and words NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® take up a lot of space.

The branding agency remastered the NAR logo as a stronger, more compact mark, and helped develop a new branding architecture. Some of the changes include eliminating department logos, and introducing a new sub-brand treatment for specialty resources and a co-brand treatment for designations. The new branding was fully implemented throughout all areas of NAR by November.

The increased visibility of the NAR logo and the new branding structure will increase the value of the NAR logo, what it represents, and the block “R” membership mark.

For more on branding from NAR, check out the AE Institute session in Dallas, March 19, “If They Don’t Know It’s from You, Brand It!”

Send your marketing questions to kbebart@realtors.org.