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American Marketing Association to Launch Rebranding Effort

Trade Group Taps BFG to Help Position the 'Next AMA'

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The American Marketing Association, which was founded in 1937, has tapped BFG Communications to develop a new brand positioning for the "Next AMA" as it looks to better serve its more than 30,000 members.

"The AMA has been around for 75-plus years, and has been a mainstay in terms of being a knowledge enterprise and networking association for marketers, as well as the academic community," said Russ Klein, CEO of the AMA, who has been in his role since July.

Mr. Klein was previously CMO at Arby's, and he also held senior marketing roles at Burger King and 7-Eleven. He succeeded Dennis Dunlop, who retired after 15 years in the position.

"When I arrived at the AMA, my mandate from the board was transformation, without any real specifics on what needed to transform, so we completed a strategic planning process," Mr. Klein said.

"The ultimate set of strategies was developed by our stakeholders and members, and is built for the next AMA."

He said the AMA will focus on four core objectives in its rebranding effort.

"No. 1 is service leadership -- we want to become world-class service leaders to our members and the customers they serve."

The second is creating the AMA's first-ever "intellectual agenda," Mr. Klein said.

"Up until now, all of the vast content delivered by the AMA through various channels, from academics, our publishing group and marketing professionals, has all been decentralized. None of those efforts have been guided by a central content strategy."

The third goal is to redesign the AMA's website into a "personalized, playful and connected marketplace" for AMA members, Mr. Klein said.

Finally, the association wants to create a more cohesive organization and brand identity.

"We are a knowledge-based enterprise that connects people, and we want to change our model from being a membership model to a community," Mr. Klein said.

BFG Communications, based in Bluffton, S.C., has been charged with conducting research among AMA members and constituents to help develop a value proposition and brand positioning for the AMA, with the first work expected to roll out by the fall.

"We're going to start by doing a deeper dive into the AMA and its constituents, from an ethnographic standpoint, to look at consumer behaviors and really identify the products and services they should be offering, and who the customer is," said Kevin Meany, CEO of BFG.

"Right now, we are looking at what should the AMA brand be, what should they communicate and adapt, so they are more relevant to the marketplace."

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