Constructive Collaborative - a new call to action from The Chartered Association of Building Engineers

Improving relevance and increasing appeal for the only membership organisation that spans the full life cycle of the built environment.

Since the Grenfell Tower disaster, the construction industry faces uncertainty and intense public scrutiny for competence in all areas. The Hackitt review established the catalyst for radical change, for all who operate in the industry.

As a membership association in the sector, CABE faced many challenges – a fragmented industry with more disciplines and institutions than ever before, relatively new official building engineering qualifications and an ageing membership demographic where a declining cohort considered CABE membership secondary to other, larger and more established organisations.

CABE’s ambitious leadership team recognised the need for change with it’s brand being a key priority in the CEO’s 5 year strategy, and the catalyst required for reinvention to both improve relevance and reverse the fortunes of a declining membership.

rbl were commissioned by CABE to conduct a full strategic brand review, with the objective of modernising the organisation’s brand with a sharper, more engaging articulation of its vision, mission, values and identity. In turn, increasing confidence and pride internally, raising the association’s profile externally and appealing to a new generation.

We conducted a comprehensive consultation of interviews with internal and external stakeholders, to really understand the organisation and its diverse range of customers.  The evaluation identified the essential priorities needed to reinvigorate and reposition the brand to support the longer-term business strategy.

We developed a brand platform with key messages to help position CABE as the essential collaborator in the professional construction sector, with an inspiring vision and a more compelling way to describe their unique offer that sets them apart in a crowded market.

The essence of constructive collaboration provided the seed for a bold new look and feel.

A new contemporary display typeface to create more dynamic communications with a human touch, enabling differentiation amongst other construction professions. Brand colours form two palettes: a primary palette with a sense of prestige and history, and a supporting vibrant secondary palette carefully chosen to appeal to a younger audience.

An important part of CABE’s visual identity is centered around graphic elements inspired by collaboration, to represent members connecting, building on each other’s skills and experiences to drive progress and define a better built environment. Collaboration lines that demonstrate CABE’s unique position and ability to shape the built environment; a life cycle container inspired by the collaborative composition of the logo; and impact marks to pull out key content.

After finalising the creative, our first priority was to create a set of guidelines to translate the new brand principles into a clear direction for CABE to manage the implementation. This included guidance on the pivotal role that photography plays in bringing the CABE brand to life.

It’s a radical transformation that has truly modernised an outdated organisation into a confident, modern association able to clearly communicate the benefits of membership, and reinforce its seat at the industry table.

The brand was launched at the association’s annual conference on 3rd October.

We needed a partner that would work with us collaboratively to help shape our vision and mission, and rbl’s strategic process enabled them to concisely articulate CABE’s unique role as a unifying voice for the construction sector.

With the simple, engaging concept of ‘constructive collaboration’ we now have a compelling way to explain both what we do, how we work and most importantly why we exist. The rebrand has given us added momentum as we modernise our organisation, inside and out.

Jackie Macaulay, Chief Operating Officer for CABE