AGC of Minnesota
A New Brand: 100 Years in the Making
Creating a strong brand identity that increases awareness and fosters engagement.
After 100 years of shaping and supporting the building and highway construction industries in Minnesota, the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota (AGC MN) felt it was time to undertake a full rebrand. Leadership’s goal was to leverage any existing brand equity to create a relevant and memorable brand story and elements that support and reflect AGC MN’s priorities.
- Grow membership, especially by attracting a younger and more diverse demographic
- Strengthen the AGC MN’s brand as a thriving and dynamic organization that provides advocacy, education/training and networking
- Create deeper member engagement
- Raise awareness and have strong brand recognition
- Celebrate and utilize the 100-year anniversary as an opportunity to launch the rebrand, and leverage it as a promotional channel to meet growth goals
Through use of the Mercury Method™, we led a series of strategic working sessions with AGC MN’s executive director, staff and select board members that set the foundation for the rebrand work. Together, we took a comprehensive look into the association and, after interviews with more than 50 members – past and present – uncovered the primary value AGC MN brings to its members – being a trusted resource.
The exploration also revealed the organization had been hosting several events that were no longer relevant, and it provided direction as to how to improve those that still were.
These and other insights became the foundation that informed the reinvigoration of the AGC MN brand. The 100-year anniversary presented an ideal context in which to implement it. AGC MN would be a refreshed, more relevant organization, with a renewed purpose and vitality that energized existing members and attracted new ones.
Honoring AGC MN’s desire to build upon its strong brand equity, the new logo maintains the historical elements of the previous logo but uses an easy to read, uncomplicated modern typeface. A simpler logo design – with clean shapes and a refreshed color palette – updates the look and presents AGC MN as a vibrant, modern organization that’s celebrating its past but is focused on the future.
Using the new logo as a base, Mercury created a special centennial version to promote and celebrate the history and success of the past 100 years and, more importantly, set the stage for the next 100.
With a strong brand identity established, all member touchpoints will now have a new look, feel and tone of voice. This consistency and cohesiveness will continue to drive awareness, engagement and growth throughout AGC MN and the commercial construction industry.
Historical Significance for the Modern Age
On the heels of a fresh new rebrand, AGC MN wanted to follow suit with an overhaul of their current web presence. Capitalizing on the work that was completed to define the new brand experience, Mercury was able to carry over not only the new look, but reinforce the strength and valued resource AGC of Minnesota has been and continues to be for its members.
The reshaping of the site started with identifying target areas for users and defining the critical pathways needed to deliver information quickly and concisely. Once this step was established, Mercury focused on highlighting the historical aspects of AGC of MN through engaging copy and a unique timeline section, which showcases each decade of construction history throughout Minnesota.
In addition to the front-end development of the website, Mercury worked with AGC MN to redesign and deploy an entirely new independent member database application. The new application provides a streamlined interface for AGC to manage their members, events, purchases, and registrations, but one of the main reasons this system was built was to reduce manual data entry, to make daily operations much faster and less tedious to manage. To do this, Mercury developed integrations with Quickbooks Online and Constant Contact.
Other than the expected ability to add, edit, and search on all data points of AGC’s members, member personnel, and events, the system processes and stores purchases for events, membership registration and some other specialty services. With the added integration with Quickbooks Online, purchases are directly processed with Quickbooks Payments and accounting entries are automatically added. Users purchasing an event registration also have the option to be invoiced, rather than pay with credit card or bank transfer. With this option, invoices are automatically generated from Quickbooks Online and emailed directly to the user who registered for an event.
“We were working off five disparate systems that didn’t talk to one another, and were not working well at all. Having a new database and a new website that talk together and work with our accounting system creates this seamless flow.”
– Renee Horsman, Director of Marketing & Communications
Researching a Rich History
One component of the overall centennial celebration plan is a book that shares the story of AGC MN and highlights member projects from 1919 to 2019. As the first chapter of Associated General Contractors of America, the story of AGC MN is interesting on both national and local levels. Since a vast amount of significant projects, both vertical and horizontal, were completed by AGC MN members, their story is really the story of Minnesota.
Tackling this project took active participation from key AGC MN staff as well as a group of enthusiastic committee volunteers. Putting in hours of research each, the work of the committee members laid the foundation for the content of the book. Mercury Creative Group rounded out this impressive history by exploring the highlights of each decade on a state, national and global level. The beautiful book design balances the historic and the modern seamlessly and features compelling and impressive images throughout.
The finished product, “FOUNDATIONS OF THE FUTURE: A Century of Building a Better Minnesota” exceeded the expectations of the client and stands as a source of pride for AGC MN staff as well as their membership.
Raising Awareness of Construction Jobs at Splashy MOA Event
As part of a year-long centennial celebration, Associated General Contractors of Minnesota (AGC MN) invited the public to “Construct with Us!” during an interactive celebration of the commercial construction industry. This unique event offered a rare opportunity to discover and explore a variety of construction disciplines through hands-on building activities and construction equipment simulators. Utilizing the grand rotunda at the Mall of America, we created a welcoming atmosphere that invited engagement and participation from children and adults alike.
Designed to inspire Minnesota’s next generation of commercial construction professionals, the event offered a glimpse into the world of construction. Construction equipment displays, as well as an impressive robotics demonstration, wowed children and adults alike. From traditional bricklaying to the role of robots in construction, the wide range of opportunities in the construction field was highlighted.
At the onset, this event was created as a “Family Day” to give AGC MN members the chance to spend a day enjoying breakfast and the rides and attractions of Nickelodeon Universe for a nominal fee. Intended to celebrate and reward the hard work of the construction worker, it wasn’t long before the idea expanded to include the public awareness component. Both the “Family Day” and the “Construct with Us” events occurred simultaneously and garnered many positive responses.