Brand Positioning

Redefining an Industry

With the Auto Care Association


01 / Background

It’s not often that a major trade association decides to change both its name and identity by redefining the entire industry it represents. But that’s exactly what the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) had in mind when they tapped GMMB to lead their rebranding effort.

2013 - 2014
Digital / Creative Content / Brand Strategy

02 / Strategy

Despite the motor vehicle aftermarket’s significant contribution to the U.S. economy, most consumers and policymakers did not understand the totality of the industry or recognize its role and many contributions. In order to strengthen the association’s identity and better communicate the industry’s value, the new brand needed an attitude designed to resonate with people both inside and outside the industry.

Two key insights allowed us to zero in on our approach: first, research showed that “aftermarket” created a negative connotation across audiences. Second, policymakers and consumers responded more positively when they saw a connection to their personal values. Thus, we decided to emphasize the values of independence and choice that industry offers consumers and the policymakers they seek to influence.


03 / Work

To help AAIA tell a story big enough to capture the totality of their impact, we positioned the association and the industry it represents as the champions of consumer choice. Building on the powerful idea of choice, GMMB developed a new name, logo, tagline, visual identity, and tone of voice that brings the Association’s brand to life and delivers a bolder, clearer, and more unified story.

The brand platform creates a voice for the Association and the industry. Working with the insights from members and consumers, we renamed AAIA as the Auto Care Association. The name avoids “aftermarket” and uses the comprehensive word “care” that resonates with consumers. The tagline communicates what drives Auto Care as an industry, and what they represent for consumers: a driving force for independence. The story describes what the industry does and why it matters. The tone is straightforward, informal, and based on core values.

The logo reflects what research told us: broad appeal means presenting a consumer-friendly style—open, approachable, and clean. Our typography and family of icons were consumer-friendly and created continuity and clarity across Auto Care’s broad array of touch points, and our photography conveys Auto Care’s spirit of independence and innovation.


04 / Results

The brand platform and accompanying visual identity were applied in a thoughtful, consistent manner to create a unified look across all communication channels and touch points. Collectively, these elements engaged audiences and cemented the values of independence and choice that the industry offers in the minds of the consumers and the policymakers it seeks to influence. AAIA officially launched the new brand at an event in April 2014, receiving wide praise from industry leaders.