- The AICPA
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- SituationThe American Institute of Certified Public Accountants was dealing with an identity crisis. They had created an online channel which they called CPA2Biz.com. The issue was that the name and the two brands had no relationship to one another.ObjectivesImplement a solid branding effort that will provide customers with a clearly defined AICPA/CPA2Biz value proposition. Create consistent guidelines that will streamline creative development and execution while building the brands overall identityIssues and ObservationsThe lack of any brand direction was both confusing and expensive. All of the communications looked different and were way too over designed. Every new creative element was basically being created from scratch as opposed to building on and existing brand platform or production template.Understanding Their AudienceThe first step in this exercise was to create materials that would connect with the audience that was receiving them. There was an overall perception that the members were extremely conservative and old fashioned. This couldnt have been further from the truth. For the most part the CPA2Biz.com customer was smart, energetic and had a great sense of style. They wanted communications that would speak to them as a modern CPA.Brand SolutionNext we defined the role and relationships between the two entities. The AICPA was now defined as the resource for content and relevant information. CPA2Biz.com became the channel to obtain publications, software, conferences and training from the AICPA.We then created a consistent identifying lock-up for each product line. For example for AICPA software we build a simple typographic lock up that highlights the resource (AICPA software) and the channel (www.cpa2biz.com/software). This and other product offerings were assigned a unique color scheme. These lock-ups became an easy identifier for customers to quickly scan materials and take action.Brand LookThe design was simple and uncluttered. It was important that the work have a strong impact while being clean, simple and contemporary. We abandoned the former approach of showing money, shots or financial institutions. Instead we utilized interesting visuals that were well lit and cropped.The following images demonstrate how the brand evolved over time.