We’re changing. Members and readers of our journal – Optometry Today (OT) will notice some changes being introduced to how we look, starting with the new monthly OT – out this Saturday 31 October.
Why are we changing?
We carried out member research in 2014 and discovered a disconnect between the words our members use about us (they said we are trusted, informative, authoritative), and words they use about our visual identity (boring, dated, comic).
Our visual identity wasn’t consistent across the different areas of our work, which meant some of our work wasn’t always clearly connected to the AOP.
After listening to our members we knew we needed to create a strong, distinct, identity that better reflected the work we do and what our members say about us.
We also needed to align our website with members’ expectations and give our members better value. We want our members and OT subscribers to have a much improved online experience, with an easier to navigate site, more personalised content and interactive features. Combining the AOP, OT and AOP Student websites into one offering, means members can access all our content with a single sign-on.
How did we do it?
To help us achieve these goals, we’ve work with a digital and brand agency called Precedent, who have over 25 years’ experience and have worked with organisations like the British Medical Association, the British Dental Association and the British Heart Foundation.
First, we developed our core brand proposition, a statement which drives everything we do: we work for our members, promoting the profession, protecting the professional.
The next step was to define the values behind the services and benefits we offer. These values are: protection, representation and support.
Our 'brand personality' describes how we work and communicate – we are confident, knowledgeable and reassuring. Everything about our new brand – from the language we use, to the new look and feel of our website and communications, will better communicate this to our members, optical professionals, and the wider public. Read what our Communications Director Vicky Vine says about the importance of branding in this month’s Optometry Today.
That’s not all
We’ll shortly be launching a new website for AOP and OT where our new branding will be rolled out. In the meantime, the current sites will carry our old brands before being discontinued.
The future for our members and the AOP
We hope you like the changes to our brand, OT and our new website. They mark an exciting time in the Association’s history. They are a long term investment in the future of the Association – working with and for our members to protect, represent and support them at every stage of their career.