We don’t make changes cavalierly here at HLAA, so when we do, it’s with the vision of looking forward, keeping up with the times, and bringing you the most reliable and timely information. We take our mission of providing information, education, support and advocacy very seriously. But with changes in the market, technology innovation, and with person-centered care being the trend du jour, HLAA is leading the way.
Along with a new name and fresh look for the magazine and a completely redesigned website, there was something else to consider. It became very clear, very fast that we needed a new logo for our organization. The name is the same, Hearing Loss Association of America, but we felt our logo didn’t sufficiently represent the HLAA brand as we go forward.
The new HLAA logo focuses on people—it’s personal, positive, contemporary, welcoming, and represents growth. It was designed to be unique (just like HLAA!) and set us apart. In addition, we have become well known by our acronym—“HLAA”—and the new logo reflects that name recognition. But one thing we did not change was the color palette as we wanted to make sure there was some consistency carried through. People will see different things when they look at it, and that’s a good thing, because we represent different things to different people.
Hearing Life, the new name of HLAA’s premier publication, previously Hearing Loss Magazine.
Hearing Life is about you—the person at the center of your own care. It’s about learning all you can about hearing loss and getting better access to communication and then making your own choices about what works for you.
We are people first, just people who happen to have hearing loss, or diminished hearing, or who, without the help of technology, are totally deaf. Some of us just need a little help hearing better in certain situations or want some hearing enhancement. Some people have said that they are hoping for hearing restoration, hearing excellence, or even a cure.
Most people reading this want to do anything they can to stay in the world where people base relationships on some kind of communication. We know that untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation, depression, anxiety, falls and maybe cognitive function. Communication—being engaged with others—is what makes life worth living.
The new HLAA website will have an updated look and feel, accessibility features, mobile-friendliness, robust search, and with the capability of being translated into 103 languages.
The HLAA Brand Promise
An organization’s brand consists of much more than a logo, icon or name in a fancy font. A logo is just one of the many elements that help define a brand. But it is also the most visible and identifiable element, and an important part of a well-thought-out marketing strategy. HLAA is the leading consumer organization for people with hearing loss and our overall brand should reflect that.
So what is a brand? A brand is a promise; it’s a promise we make to our members and supporters and the experiences people have as a result of interacting with HLAA. Our mission remains the same, but our brand is evolving as we look to the future and see changes in the industry, the shift to person-centered care, and a broadening of our audiences. We don’t want to follow these changes, we want to lead them. In order to do that—as well as to better position ourselves for growth— our brand needed to be strengthened.
We have heard from people over the years who say our lives should not be defined by our hearing loss. Therefore, we are the only ones who can define our hearing life. HLAA’s mission— as it always has been—is to focus on the person more than the condition, so it is important for our brand to clearly portray that.
Are We Keeping Our Promise?
Yet, even with all the strategy, thought, and planning that has gone into this, there is one intriguing aspect of brand development that makes it very challenging. That is, an organization doesn’t define its own brand, its audiences do.
This might sound contrary to what you thought a brand was. But remember, a brand is a promise. HLAA can make the promise, but it is up to our constituents to decide if we’ve delivered on it. To put it in its simplest terms, a brand is a person’s gut feeling about HLAA. It is their reaction to what we do and who we say we are that determines what relationship they want to have with us. All we can do is try and influence that reaction in such a way that they believe our promise has been kept.
We are confident that these changes—such as with the new magazine, website and logo— support what our organization stands for. Our hope is that when anyone is exposed to the HLAA brand through the Convention, Walk4Hearing, chapters, our website, social media, and more, that there is a positive reaction; one that inspires people to build or strengthen their relationship with us.
Successful brands deliver on their promises. As we begin the new year, we debut a brand evolution. This is a symbol of our work with you. It is an integral part of changing ourselves and our lives for the better through a determined effort. With increased awareness about hearing health, improved technology, medical advancements, new laws, your determination, and a resolve from HLAA, the future is bright.
We promise to be the organization that opens the world of communication through information, education, support, and advocacy. So gather round, bring your friends and family, and let us help you on your journey to better communication. It’s up to us, together, to set the tone for the future. Together, we share our Hearing Life!