CALGARY, Alta. – It’s not always the easiest thing to do from a business standpoint, but the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) has taken the plunge and entered 2017 with a fresh logo, image and identity.
Speaking exclusively to Truck West at their Calgary office Jan. 6, AMTA president Lorraine Card, manager of human resources and marketing Shannon Anderson and communication specialist Kelsey Hipkin explained the thought process behind the rebranding and what it would look like moving forward.
The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) unveiled its new brand and image to Truck West Jan. 6 at its Calgary, Alta. location. With a new logo and image, the association aims to keep its momentum moving forward into 2017 and beyond. From left: Kelsey Hipkin, communication specialist, Shannon Anderson, manager of human resources and marketing, Ophelia Ijeh, executive assistant, and Lorraine Card, AMTA president
“We were shocked by it,” Card said of the drastic changes the Edmonton-based branding agency, Free, made to the association’s logo. “We really thought they were going to take (our old logo) and make some modifications to it.”
With the new identity tagline ‘our momentum,’ the rebranded AMTA logo is quite different than the plain blue version it used for several years.
Utilizing grey and orange tones, the new logo boasts a modern look while incorporating movement and forward progress through its design.
“In the logo, it starts to move forward to solid colors throughout to the end with the orange, and that represents movement, and that ties in with ‘our momentum’ and the new direction the AMTA is moving in,” Anderson explained, adding that the color orange typically represents safety.
Free conducted several surveys and interviews with AMTA staff and members as part of its effort to achieve the rebranded logo, images and wording that were ultimately presented to the association.
“The process has also allowed for a lot more engagement with members,” Hipkin said. “Various things, having to contact them, they contact us, so it creates a better relationship between us and them.”
Card said the colors and new brand identity are very forward-thinking and help relay to its members and the public what the AMTA is while always signifying ‘momentum.’
“We were very honest through the RFP process that we weren’t really sure what we were looking for,” Card said. “We wanted to get away from our tired website, we thought let’s jazz up the AMTA letter, but had no idea what we were really looking for. We saw how quickly everything dominoed into something else. It was a challenge to convince our board to go from that (old logo) to some very modern lettering.”
Hipkin pointed out how the new branding, particularly the colors, was something of a blast from the past.
“It’s interesting from an historical standpoint,” she said, “the ’50s AMTA (logo) was a red and grey, so it’s kind of a re-visitation of our history as well.”
Part of the AMTA’s rebranding included a complete revamping of its website, which was quietly launched a couple of months ago.
“We were getting a lot of feedback that it was difficult to find things on our (old) website, even from staff,” Card said. “It was difficult to maneuver, there was a lot of stale information on there, so this gave us an opportunity to do a complete refresh and determine ‘What are we going to file away as history and what are we going to keep current?’”
The new AMTA website holds true to the association’s rebranding efforts, and streamlines the visitor experience.
It features pages for each of the AMTA’s departments, including COR, Partners in Compliance (PIC) and members services.
“The feedback has been really good from our members,” Card said. “I think it aligns really well with all the positive feedback we’ve been getting…we’ve done a lot in the last year-and-a-half and this keeps us moving along.”
In addition to a full listing of AMTA carrier members, the new site also boasts its own job bank, where people looking for work in the industry can see which AMTA members are hiring, for what positions and where.
“There is a need out there and people don’t know where to go,” said Card. “They get their licence and they move (to Alberta) and they don’t know where to go.”
Members can provide a link that will direct AMTA website visitors directly to the company’s webpage and hiring information, which helps both the AMTA offer a service to those looking to get into the industry and the hiring company itself reach potential applicants.
“It’s all right there,” Anderson said. “People don’t need to contact everybody individually or search for it…it has already been well received.”
The new site also has an events section to keep people up to date with industry conferences, courses and happenings.
It is formatted to work on standard desktop and laptop computers, as well as tablets and smartphones.
“As a safety association, what are you doing for your members? We’re here to support our members, so what kind of tools can we give them?” Card said. “Before, we felt if we went out and sold memberships and sent them to the AMTA website, it was a pretty bad site, it didn’t stand out as ‘Hey, we’re here, we’re forward thinking, showing momentum and growth’…this (new site) does.”
“I think this shows that we are current and we’re not stagnant with our old website,” added Anderson, saying the new website is very user-friendly and interactive, which streamlines the visitor experience and the AMTA’s services to its members.
AMTA members will also see a new crest to signify their membership status.
Members are placed into one of three categories: carrier, carrier supplier and associate supplier.
Associate supplier members are those who do not have a fleet, but still want to be involved in transportation in one way or another, whether that be a tire or insurance company.
Carrier suppliers are those who pay fees through a Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) levy into WCB supporting the AMTA’s safety association. There are approximately 11,500 members of this type.
From the carrier supplier group, there is another category of membership called ‘carrier members,’ that pay an additional fee over and above the WCB levy to be part of the AMTA’s compliance and regulatory affairs lobbying efforts.
A single color will represent all levels of membership, scrapping the gold, silver and bronze labels used in the past.
The AMTA will be embarking on a membership drive, using the tagline ‘Fleets like yours fuel us’ as part of that effort.
The association will also work on a rebranding of its PIC website to tie in with its newly refreshed image for 2017 and onwards.
“We’re really just starting to implement the brand as a whole now,” said Anderson, “so we need to bring everything together.”