The National Association of Realtors on Monday unveiled a new logo for the first time in 45 years. “Dynamic and future-focused,” in the parlance of a press release, the new emblem — a three-dimensional cube, tilted to the right, with the familiar “R” printed in a bold sans-serif font — will roll out to more than 1,200 state and local associations in June and subsequently make appearances on everything from business cards and real estate signage to promotional pins.
“I think we all recognized the fact that a 45-year-old logo that hasn’t changed, hasn’t been modernized, isn’t contemporary was still conveying a perception of the old NAR,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg, who took the reins of the trade group last year. “What we’re trying to show is that with all the changes I’ve been implementing in the organization, this is an optical way to convey this new dimension of NAR. That’s the reason for the three-dimensional look.”
The contemporary blue logo design is part of a $497,000 budgetary expense approved last year for a consumer advertising campaign launched through NAR’s Marketing and Business Development division. The precise cost of the logo, as well as focus testing, field surveys and research associated with its design, was not immediately available, but a NAR spokesperson told Inman that it would likely come in at around half of the approved $497,000 budget.
An assessment of $35 on top of members’ annual dues of $120 are dedicated to the campaign, which is aimed at educating the public on the NAR brand, which Goldberg estimated is now valued at $5 billion.
Among its objectives, the campaign is focused on raising brand awareness not only for NAR’s 1.3 million members within the real estate industry but also the homebuying public, who Goldberg insisted in an interview with Inman is already intimately familiar with the association.
“You’re way wrong,” Goldberg said when Inman suggested that consumers may not be familiar with the brand, unless they’re actively engaged in buying a home. “We spend $40 million a year educating consumers that there is a difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent.”
The logo itself, the familiar ‘R’ printed in a bold sans-serif typeface called Montserrat, leaps off the page from a cube tilted slightly to the right dabbed in two shades of blue — the lighter called Pantone 293C, and the darker called Pantone 288C. The concept is meant to convey the group’s new dimensions and depth, including a renewed focus on members, Goldberg said.
Conceived by the Conran Design Group, a London- and Manhattan-based branding firm with a client roster that has included Coca-Cola, Nestle and Rolls-Royce, the design culminated with a decision to hew closely to the original logo. Drafted in 1973, that logo appeared a year after the 110-year-old group was renamed from the “National Association of Real Estate Boards.”
“They came back and they said, ‘you know, at the end of the day’ — as they considered the options that they presented to us — the fact is they didn’t want us to lose the brand equity that we had built over all these years,” Goldberg said. “Everyone knows what the Realtor logo looks like — certainly our members do, and so do consumers. It’s on real estate signs, it’s on business cards and it’s on letterhead dealing with consumers. And so, we’re not running from a brand that had a problem. We’re just updating it and making it more contemporary.”