After months of planning, building and testing, the NACAS Marketplace was launched in early June 2018....
NACAS Launches a New Brand in Time for its Golden Anniversary
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (June 9, 2017) – After nine months of collaborative work by volunteer members and staff, NACAS launched a new brand and website on June 1, 2017. The rebranding initiative was driven by an upcoming milestone for the historic organization – its 50th anniversary in 2018.
“As NACAS turns 50 in 2018, we reflect on a rich past while recognizing how our organization will need to evolve to make sure the next 50 years are just as vibrant and successful,” said NACAS CEO Kelsey Finn. “As we move into the future, our new brand works to communicate our value and better define why we do what we do and how we show up in the industry – positioning NACAS as the unquestionable leader in enriching the campus experience.”
The process of creating a new visual identity, tagline, story, and experience included participation by nearly a quarter of the NACAS membership in the discovery and testing phases of the rebranding initiative. This active involvement was critical in unlocking important perceptions of the NACAS brand, strengthening its market differentiator, and ensuring the development of an authentic, cohesive brand system that best represented the interests of the entire NACAS professional community.
Uncovering the Brand Differentiator
As the premier organization that represents professionals working in all campus auxiliary service areas, NACAS has long been perceived as an “umbrella organization;” however, it saw opportunity in asserting a stronger market position to highlight its leadership profile and the many esteemed contributions that NACAS makes to advance higher education communities worldwide.
In the early phases of the process, NACAS identified the core audiences served by the organization: Senior-level leaders overseeing multiple auxiliaries at higher education institutions, and sales/marketing executives at corporations providing campus service solutions for all auxiliaries. The collective leaders served by NACAS are visionaries who make strategic decisions, implement new business models, and build creative solutions to transform campuses and improve the quality of life for students.
By homing in on who NACAS truly serves, and the student-centric purpose behind members’ and Business Partners’ commitment to their industry, a new tagline emerged:
Enriching the Campus Experience
NACAS can authentically boast that:
- Its membership is made up of senior-level auxiliary service professionals who are introducing changes on college campuses to improve quality of life for students
- Its Business Partners represent a full spectrum of solution providers who deliver innovative products and services to enrich campus experiences
- The organization convenes leaders from institutional and corporate spheres of influence – in order to facilitate collaboration that will ultimately enhance student experiences
- All auxiliary services shape campus communities – and the intent is that they greatly contribute to a hospitable environment that eases and nourishes the experiences of students as they move through a significant phase of personal and professional development
- Progressive campuses that empower student choice are highly desired, appreciated, relied upon, and remembered with fond nostalgia.
Amplifying our Brand Voice
As NACAS continued to dive deeper into understanding and listening to its member and Business Partner audiences while looking at industry changes and the future vision for the organization, the building blocks for a cohesive brand voice took shape in the form of core messaging:
This mantra communicates the multi-layered impact that NACAS has on students, its members, its business partners, higher education institutions, and the entire trade.
Solutions. To enrich experiences and quality of life for students.
Resources. To inform our members’ decisions on campus transformation.
Counsel. To build our Business Partners’ brands within campus communities.
Innovation. To improve the financial health of higher education institutions.
Leadership. To advance and sustain campus environments worldwide.
NACAS is a professional trade association that supports the non-academic segment of higher education responsible for generating business through a diverse array of campus services that students need and value – such as food services, bookstores, housing, and transportation.
As the leading organization supporting all campus services, NACAS is the community-of-choice for strategic leaders who advance campus environments to improve the quality of life for students. Our members oversee multiple services and make executive decisions that shape them to create hospitable and well-rounded campus communities.
Founded in 1969 as the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, NACAS is the premier organization that convenes executives from higher education institutions and those from businesses that supply campus service solutions.
Our members work at a leadership level within 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities located worldwide. With buying power, business acumen, and a vision for how modernized services can elevate campus experiences, they lead change for the benefit of students and the health of their institutions.
From innovative start-ups to time-honored brands, our Business Partners are essential to the fabric of NACAS and offer diverse solutions that meet the authentic needs and desires of students.
Every day, thousands of NACAS members and Business Partners collaborate to create customized campus services that are unique and meaningful to each school’s community. NACAS provides the richest bank of data, resources, educational experiences, leadership development, connections, and progressive business models to fuel this high-level collaboration.
Leaders engaged in NACAS are dedicated to developing and implementing service solutions that advance, transform, and future-proof campus environments. These solutions generate reinvested revenue and empower students with advantages and choices that enrich their campus experience.
Advancing our Brand Identity
To represent a modern, inclusive, and executive-oriented organization that is poised to lead in the next 50 years, and incorporate a new purpose-driven tagline, the NACAS logo and visual identity have been redesigned to convey an elevated market position and complement its brand voice.
The Brand Mark – THE NACAS “C”
A special gradation treatment was applied to the C to communicate the organization’s commitment to support and inform the strategic decisions its members make to transform multiple auxiliaries across an entire campus environment and influence holistic change. The centralized C stands in separation from other letters to highlight the importance of community – both the NACAS professional community and the campus communities served by its members.
The Logo – THE NACAS WORD MARK
Due to the popularity of the acronym and lingering market confusion and perception around the term “auxiliary,” an intentional decision was made to remove the full spelling of the association’s name with the logo. The NACAS name appears in all caps to represent its stability, leadership posture, and collegiate industry.
A contemporary sans-serif typeface was used to create the wordmark, designed for longevity and endurance over time. The bold application of the type was intentional to represent the strength of the profession in higher education and differentiate from other like-minded organizations in the space. The physical connection between the letters “N” and “A” as well as the letters “A” and “S” was intentional in representing the connectivity between members, business partners, and the greater community and ecosystem that surrounds the “C”.
Furthermore, the NACAS word mark was designed to be flexible in application, allowing for a variety of sub-brands, as well as co-branding with business partners and various color applications.
The NACAS green is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore, and renew. Illustrative of the lushness of opportunity, this color signals members, Business Partners, volunteers, and other constituents to turn to NACAS for enterprising relationships and resources that aid in their endeavors to enrich campus experiences.
Implementing the Full Brand System
As the new NACAS brand emerges in the market, an upgraded website has been developed to deliver an optimal user experience on any device. The first signature program to receive a complementary rebrand is NACAS C3X; the same grand-scale annual conference and expo that its members and Business Partners know and love, with a new look and feel.
This is just the beginning of an all-around elevated NACAS brand experience as the organization works to enhance and evolve its key events, programs, services, and products. “We look forward to sharing each exciting development with you this year and continuing to serve our NACAS community and the larger campus auxiliary services industry with exceptional offerings and a unified voice,” said CEO Kelsey Finn. “With a new brand in place to bolster our leadership initiatives, I’m thrilled to see the next chapters of NACAS take shape.”
Founded in 1969 as the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, NACAS is a professional trade association that supports the non-academic segment of higher education responsible for generating business through a diverse array of campus services that students need and value – such as food services, bookstores, housing, and transportation. As the leading organization supporting all campus services, NACAS is the community-of-choice for strategic leaders who advance campus environments to improve the quality of life for students. http://www.nacas.org