Money & Business

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Rebrand Aims Squarely at Public

By / Jul 14, 2016 (CSF screenshot)

Seeing an opportunity to draw the interest of the public rather than the “aerospace echo chamber,” the Commercial Spaceflight Federation this week launched a rebrand that’s inspired by the way NASA sparks the public’s interest in spaceflight.

From a marketing standpoint, spaceflight is in an interesting place.

With a reputation that’s both retro and out of this world, traveling to outer space holds much potential. But in the public imagination, the inevitable focus is on what NASA has already done: trips to the moon, international space stations, stuff like that.

For the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF), this comes with some unenviable difficulties, especially as it hopes to sell the public on private spaceflight as an alternative to NASA’s government-funded endeavors. Sure, spaceflight companies SpaceX and Blue Origin get attention, but there’s a whole industry out there, and most of it isn’t receiving the kind of buzz that NASA is.

But this week CSF took its first steps at changing that narrative. The group is releasing a new logo and website design intended to drum up public excitement about what its members are doing—rather than the association just focusing on what its president, Eric Stallmer, calls the “aerospace echo chamber.”

The trade group teamed with the design firm Viceroy Creative on the rethink and hopes to drum up some sustained PR interest. (Considering that Mashable and Fast Company each wrote about the rebrand, it apparently is working, at least to some degree.)

In comments to Mashable, David Moritz, Viceroy’s founder and CEO, noted that the goal of the endeavor is to mimic the success NASA has in its public outreach—something he called a “sexy, badass persona.”

“NASA has a really focused PR effort to tell people what’s coming up, when, why it’s important—to get people excited about it,” Moritz told Mashable. “Whether or not they’re always equally successful is one thing, but it’s clear that they’re trying to get public engagement.”

The website redesign in particular, filled with full-frame pictures of some of CSF’s members’ projects, clearly appears designed to play up the “wow” factor that the group hopes will catch on as it and its members up their PR game.

“We wanted to redesign an idea that not only resonated well with the public but also reinforced our core values of developing industry standards that truly reach for the stars,” CSF’s Stallmer noted in a news release.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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