Chicago AMA Launches New Brand Identity & New Website

Two years ago, Chicago AMA leadership began the process of evaluating our brand strategy.  The process involved market research studies, the development of a new value proposition, key supporting messages, a revised tagline and new logo in coordination with Chicago AMA’s Agency of Record, All Terrain. Be sure to explore our new brand narrative and values described below.

In addition to the development of a whole new identity for the Chicago AMA brand, we just launched a new, dynamic website, designed by our website partner, Mindful Mix.

The following timeline gives a good understanding of how large an undertaking these projects were for the Chicago AMA, a primarily volunteer run organization.

Planning Timeline

  • Fall 2011 – Chicago AMA Board sets strategic goal for evaluating the organization’s brand
  • Spring 2012 – Mission and goals for branding analysis and brand project defined
  • Spring 2012 – 1st Step – Market Research
    • Competitive landscape analysis
    • Brand analysis survey conducted
    • Name recognition of organization
    • Value proposition
  • Summer 2012 – Branding task force determined and has first meeting and meets throughout 2012. Team members included: Tara Giuliano, Darcy Schuller, Michael Long, Paul Stark, Cheryl Moe, Paula Kapacinskas, Lisa Edwards, and Ellen Albright
  • Winter 2012 – Key Messaging and supporting taglines developed by task force proposed to Board and tested with focus groups
  • Spring 2013 – Branding RFP conducted
  • Summer 2013 – All Terrain selected Chicago AMA agency of record
  • Fall 2013 – All Terrain works with task force to finesse tagline and messaging
  • Fall 2013 – Mindful Mix selected as preferred partner for new website
  • Winter 2013 – Spring 2014 – Logo and brand look developed
  • March 5, 2014 – New look and new website unveiled 



Over seventy-five years strong, the Chicago AMA delivers cutting-edge marketing programming, connects marketers across all disciplines and business industries, and enables marketing career advancement. With Chicago as an epicenter for marketing excellence today and tomorrow, no other organization connects as many marketers with as many opportunities as the Chicago AMA.


A Chapter of the American Marketing Association

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

Comprised of approximately 1,100 members

Governed by a board of 21 members

Supported by over 100 volunteers annually

Connected to over 10,000 marketers annually

Key Supporting Messaging

Brand Value:

Cutting-Edge Programming

Chicago AMA keeps you a step ahead with more than 50 multifaceted programs and events annually.Thoughtleading content with realworld application delivered by C-level marketing leaders across intimate roundtables, full-day conferences and convenient online webinars provides you the “know how” to thrive in the ever-changing landscape in both B2C & B2B industries.

Brand Value:


Engage, connect, and establish relationships with thousands of marketers across all disciplines, industries and career levels locally and nationally.

No other organization opens more doors to share ideas, finds new opportunities, business partners or mentors others than the Chicago AMA.

Get real one-on-one dialogue among power players & peers. Get inspired and more motivated through the abundance of opportunities available with Chicago AMA.


Brand Value:


Get inspired and more motivated through the abundance  of opportunities  available with Chicago AMA.

Gain hands-on experience, tackle new marketing challenges as a chapter volunteer, share thought leadership, or leverage a plethora of career insights.

Find your next career opportunity like many others through Chicago AMA.


New Website

For an overview of all the great features of our new website, please take our virtual Slideshare tour here.


For questions regarding the Chicago AMA’s new brand identity, please contact Chicago AMA Executive Director, Michael Long, or for media inquiries, Scott Phillips, of Scott Phillips + Associates.

The Power of A Human Network

humannetworkby John Hambrick, VP of SIGs, Chicago AMA

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  — Theodore Roosevelt

Picture it . . . Friday afternoon at 3p. You’ve got a BIG presentation to your CEO on Monday morning. And you want an objective, but informed sounding board. (In the iconic words of 1984’s ‘Ghostbuster’) Who you gonna call?

If you are like many of us, it can feel like you’re an island inside your company. There aren’t always other marketers around us with deep understanding of the specific, defining nuances of our particular industry. There’s usually no qualified, readily available resource who can say, “I care . . . I’ve got you covered . . . here’s what I think.”

This type of relationship gap can really hamstring a career.  So the Chicago American Marketing Association tackled this issue through a SIG (Special Interest Groups) service.  Essentially, we are fostering peer-led communities designed around the exact needs of individual verticals.

SIGs are about fellow marketers coming together to form dynamic, intimate networks of conversation and knowledge sharing.  SIGs are for people who want to channel the power of collective, human intelligence to exchange ideas, get inspired, and stay ahead of their industry.

Got big challenges?  Bring ‘em on!

In a SIG community, its ‘citizens’ bring their personal best to each gathering.  Every one of our SIGs is unique, but they all are agnostic in terms of age/experience level.  Everyone is welcomed, from industry veterans (who’ve “learned a thing or two along the way”) to young professionals with insatiable curiosity and optimism.  And everyone ups their individual game by exploring shared questions, common issues, and special marketing conundrums.

Every SIG relies on hyper-targeted thought leadership as currency.  Sometimes this involves subject-matter experts providing contextual content to spark discussion.  On other occasions, it takes the form of facilitated, small-group dialogues. But just as in life, SIGs are never scripted.  The experience is always spontaneous and built on participatory, 2-way conversations (not 1-way transfers of information).

Importantly, SIGs address big questions (e.g., What’s worked?;  What hasn’t?  And why?) to real marketing problems and actual business outcomes.  Egos are checked at the door, so frank, open discussion can flourish.  It’s how we help each other build to/on our individual success.

And SIG communities don’t evaporate as you walk out the door.  Personal relationships are often established in real time; and they deepen through on-going discussion in SIG social media, as well as during subsequent SIG gatherings.

New members (non-members) may walk into a SIG event as a virtual stranger, but most leave the room with a budding, lifelong network in place.  So, bring your mind, heart, and soul to a SIG event.  You’ll find a room full of professional communication, personal relationships, and hot coffee.  We’ll save your seat!

If you’re interested in learning about the SIG program, please reach out to John Hambrick.

Why Chicago AMA is a Great Sponsorship Investment for You

roi3by Paul Freidman, VP of Business Development, Chicago AMA

A lot has changed in the world of sponsorships.  As the general sales manager for WBEZ in Chicago, one of the oldest-school, old-school media platforms – a radio station – I know from personal experience the challenges on the ever-expanding options of spending never-expanding budgets. Social Media, SEO, direct mail, outdoor, list buying, street teams, experiential, POS, ASI, you name it; there are more options than ever to consider.

So, why would it make sense to set aside a portion of your budget to work with an industry association that is only Chicago focused, and only reaches industry insiders rather than the larger population in general?

Here’s why!

1.  Chicago is a relationship city.  For better or for worse, Chicago has always been known as a place where “who you know” is more important than “what you do.”  Building relationships through the Chicago AMA, your message will be recognized by the 10,000+ Chicago marketers that interact with the Chapter every year.  These are your company’s potential customers; let them know that you’re from Chicago too!

2.  Stay on the front burner.  We’re all subject to countless offerings every day, from the time you turn on your smart phone in the morning to the time you log off LinkedIn at night.  How do you break through the clutter?  By having a consistent presence, in front of the right audience, over the course of time.

3.  Be one of the cool kids at the party.  The Chicago AMA is the largest Chapter of the National Association and is widely known for creating insightful, engaging and valuable events and tools for its members to use and experience.  Creating an association with the Chicago AMA will heighten awareness, trust and interest in your brand, leading to more customers, more revenue and a larger marketing budget for you to work with next year!  (Ok, maybe just more customers and more revenue…)

4.  A little goes a long way.  An investment in the Chicago AMA will not break your sponsorship budget.  There are a wide variety of pricing options to offer you fantastic ways of getting your message in front of your potential customers, from introducing CMO speakers at day-long conferences to hosting a Shared Interest Group and having a logo on the job board.

For more information on the different levels of sponsorship available, review our Media Kit and to earn more about our exciting upcoming events such as BrandSmart (where sponsors will enjoy 10+ hours of direct access to 300 high-level marketers); please visit

I hope you have a great February and a prosperous rest of the year!

Paul Friedman
VP of Strategic Relations & Business Development
Chicago American Marketing Association
General Sales Manager
Chicago Public Media/WBEZ 91.5FM

Marketing Research “Think Tank” Forming

All Terrain & Chicago AMA Invite You to Attend A Research-Focused “Think-Tank”

The goal is to gather 10-15 senior professionals from the experiential marketing and market research industry to join in a Think Tank where together, we will discuss experiential marketing, campaign tactics and metrics, research methodology, and ideate the ideal way to construct a research plan to address this topic. This is a unique opportunity to exercise creativity, strategy and share your expertise.

Location: All Terrain, 2675 W Grand Ave, Chicago
Date and Time: TBD- Mid/late March – Food and drink will be provided

CAMA will also provide a gift card as a small token of our appreciation.  In addition to generating innovative ideas and devising effective strategies, our hope is that from the Think Tank, we will source one or more partners to help conduct the research. This research will:

  • Generate seminal work leading to a published white paper and findings
  • Be presented at a conference or event such as BrandSmart.
  • Connect the research partner with All Terrain and their client base should they need further research with regard to experiential marketing.

All parties involved in the research project agree that there will be some in-kind work contributed by everyone so that the project can be carried out and that it benefits all without being burdensome to any one group. If you are interested in attending this evening of conversation, ideation and networking with other professionals in your field, please send an email to or by February 28th, 2014. In order to keep the group small enough to inspire constructive interaction, only 15 applicants will be selected.