Retail Association Builds New Brand on a Unifying One-Word Name
A retail environment association introduced a new brand and focus that’s going to make you want to “Shop!”—and help a diverse member base feel connected to one mission.
As part of the integration process following an October merger, an association dedicated to retail stores has taken on a new identity: Shop!, an organization focused on enhancing retail environments and experiences.
“With members ranging from producers, visual merchandisers, and ad agencies to designers, retailers, and brands, the name Shop! conveys a strong image of the services and products our members provide to the industry,” Chairman Bob Rosean said in a statement. “Everything our members build, design, and implement at the store level is driven by the needs of the shopper and ultimately is created to entice consumers to shop!”
Formerly known as A.R.E. | POPAI The New Association, the new group was created in October 2015 when the Association for Retail Environments merged with Point of Purchase Advertising International. The new name and accompanying tagline (“Enhancing retail environments and experiences”) seek to seamlessly unite the missions and members of the two organizations.
“Your brand is your promise to the market. Your brand is your personality—it should exude who you are and who you want to be,” Steven Weiss, CAE, the group’s newly hired CEO, told Associations Now. “It needs to express your value in some way, shape, or form, so on first glance your audience should understand who you are and why they should belong.”
These were considerations when the association prepared to rebrand. Ultimately, the brand needed to unify those the association serves—specifically by creating connections between the varied membership base of store layout designers, producers that build retail stores or fixtures, and retail marketing creators; members and the nonmember retailers and brands they work closely with; and global members from different regions and cultures.
With the new branding, Shop! will consider the existing events, programs, publications, and websites that need to be redesigned to fit with the new association’s theme and mission. “We’re trying to do each of those in a quick fashion, but in a paced, balanced fashion so that we are both accelerating our rebrand and market but giving respect to the brand equity that might exist with some of these things,” Weiss said.
The group is working on introducing new products or services under the Shop! brand, with decisions based on five pillars: consumer research, design trends, builder best practices, in-store retail marketing strategies, and evaluation and ROI analyzation techniques.
“These five things, number one, they’re what make up everything that will interest everyone in our audience, and number two, they’re a cycle,” Weiss said.
Shop! will maintain services from the two previous associations based on how well they fit the pillars, then will begin adding new ones to fill gaps and help members create positive retail experiences, he added.