Case Study

Location

Nationwide

Date of Project

2019

Client Type

This Trek Included

Content Development
Public Affairs
Brand Stewardship

Digital Communications
Audience Development
Event Planning

Organizational Advocacy
Brand Building
Strategic Planning

Invest in the USA

Integrated Organizational Marketing Strategy & Implementation

Invest in the United States of America (IIUSA) is the national, membership-based, not-for-profit trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The United States’ EB-5 Regional Center Program allows foreign nationals to invest between $900,000 and $1.3M into U.S. economic development projects in exchange for the opportunity to apply for a green card. Members include foreign chambers of commerce, domestic immigration attorneys, developers, financial service providers, brokers, migration agents, and economic development organizations. IIUSA members account for the vast majority of capital formation and job creation in the United States.

Challenges

IIUSA advocates for EB-5 program reauthorization. In addition, IIUSA acts as the industry’s leader. They provide members with the latest industry news as well as business development, marketing, and educational opportunities throughout the year.

In 2018, IIUSA faced numerous hardships that included losing their executive director, stagnant membership numbers, and idle advocacy efforts. These hardships impacted the overall success and livelihood of the organization.

Solution

Recognizing the decline in organizational activity, TrailBlaze Creative, in partnership with Grau & Associates, proposed an association management company approach to the IIUSA board of directors that was met with approval.

Grau & Associates’ plan to renew the association’s activity involved recruiting TJ Kennedy as the association’s accountant and Tim Hindes of TrailBlaze Creative as the director of marketing. As a result of this collaboration, Grau & Associates was able to focus on identifying and rectifying IIUSA’s weaknesses in financial management while TrailBlaze Creative identified and prioritized opportunities for improved marketing and communications.

TrailBlaze Creative first addressed IIUSA’s need for a more consistent brand and new messaging. Initial steps towards a more cohesive brand included an audience persona analysis that provided staff with an opportunity to re-evaluate their market, members, and stakeholders from an inside perspective. As a result of these procedures, an EB-5 101 video was created to educate the public and government officials on the workings and benefits of the EB-5 program, as well as the relationship IIUSA has with EB-5 stakeholders.

After taking the newfound audience analysis into consideration, TrailBlaze identified further marketing and communication needs. These included creating a more user-centered website focused on association benefits, testimonials, EB-5 program outcomes, and a member portal. From a branding perspective, consistency and usage of the logo led to the complete redesign of the IIUSA brand. This rebrand necessitated a new logo that supports multi-faceted use in both vertical and horizontal formats. The rebrand incorporates modern graphic design standards and a dynamic color palette.

IIUSA’s advocacy efforts also needed a boost in order to achieve the long-term reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program. The Grau and Associates advocacy team, in collaboration with TrailBlaze Creative, orchestrated a strategy to boost congressional awareness and support of the program, as well as assisting in authoring legislation to drive support. Strategic coalitions of IIUSA’s partners also provided much needed alignment for legislative support.

Since partnering with IIUSA, TrailBlaze Creative and G&A have reduced the association’s costs, increased its incomes, developed new membership initiatives and programming, and successfully managed not only the TBC and G&A teams, but also the existing IIUSA staff, blending the two seamlessly to maximize the effectiveness for the association’s members.

TrailBlaze’s and Grau & Associates’ work includes facilitating several annual international events and two major domestic events. TBC and G&A also guide IIUSA’s education initiative, federal lobbying program, and the association’s communication protocols, including the development of an online learning management system and redesigned website.

Results

As a result of TrailBlaze Creative’s and Grau & Associates’ collaborative leadership, IIUSA is now measurably more successful. Reducing the association’s costs, increasing association income, and seamlessly blending the original IIUSA staff with contracted industry experts has maximized efficiencies and effectiveness for the association’s members. Marketing efforts also resulted in a new and improved association image. These marketing efforts included a new identity, website development, membership category additions, market and audience analysis, increased brand awareness, target marketing segmentation, and visuals such as videos, infographics, and printed collateral.

TrailBlaze Creative, in partnership with Grau & Associates, continues to guide IIUSA’s education initiative, federal lobbying program, and the association’s communications protocols, including the development of an online learning management system. Under the management of TrailBlaze Creative and Grau & Associates, IIUSA will start 2020 with a new website, identity, and a full calendar filled with advocacy, industry, and educational events designed to bring further vitality to the organization and its mission.

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Copyright © 2020 TrailBlaze Creative. All Rights Reserved.