With an impressive retention rate, well-regarded safety programs, and a guiding philosophy that seeks to ensure open competition, Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington has much to offer. But the organization was having trouble telling its story to prospective members. In order to continue helping the industry thrive, ABCWW needed to clarify its purpose and brand promise.

A deep dive

After taking a closer look at ABCWW’s business goals and overall vision, we learned that recruitment of younger members, connecting with business owners and expanding training programs were top priorities. Our stakeholder interviews and online surveys confirmed these needs and informed how we approached our strategic work—with authentic storytelling and these audiences in mind.

A people-centered organization

What emerged throughout our research was an intriguing story about how integral ABCWW is to its members’ lives. We heard how their staff takes time to build deeply personal relationships with each and every member—and how they repeatedly go to great lengths to protect their members’ best interests. We also heard about the lifelong friendships that members forge with each other. Among others, these insights led us to create the brand essence of “Vital Ally,” which became the foundation for an inspirational brand platform and future creative work.

Bringing a story to life

“Vital Ally” informed all aspects of our messaging and creative. We began by developing a messaging framework from detailed personas. From there, we created a vibrant and unique visual language that both aligned with the national brand and provided flexibility to stand out from other local construction associations. Finally, we produced a striking recruiting brochure that highlights key aspects of ABCWW’s benefits and makes a compelling case for membership.

The association is currently evaluating its other brand touchpoints in light of their evolved identity and we look forward to continuing as a strategic partner.