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AAIA Rebrands Itself; Kicks Off Celebration At Leadership Days

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s Spring Leadership Days meeting, which wrapped up recently at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, Calif., served as the official platform for an exciting announcement – the launch of the association’s official rebranding as the Auto Care Association.

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The Automotive Aftermarket Industry
Association’s Spring Leadership Days meeting, which wrapped up recently at the
Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach, Calif., served as the official platform for
an exciting announcement – the launch of the association’s official rebranding
as the Auto Care Association.

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Auto Care Association President and CEO Kathleen Schmatz and Chairman Tim Lee.

The unprecedented rebranding endeavor
not only resulted in a name change for the association, but also the bold
decision to redefine the industry itself – from the aftermarket industry to the
auto care industry when communicating with external audiences and stakeholders.
Both decisions were based on powerful research findings from interviews,
meetings and focus groups with industry thought leaders, consumers, the media,
policymakers and professionals in the education and business communities, the
association said.

“The launch of the new brand comes at a
key moment for the auto care industry, and we aim to use the momentum generated
by the rebrand to build on our work across the industry,” said Kathleen Schmatz,
president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Our new brand will better enable us
to champion for the auto care industry with state and national policymakers
since it articulates upfront the scope and value of the work we deliver.

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John
Gundlach from GMMB, the ad agency that assisted the association with
the rebranding initiative, discussed the Auto Care Association launch
during the luncheon, noting that the rebranding goal was to simplify the
industry’s complex story into a powerful, memorable one.

“Our government affairs team will
capitalize on our clearer and more memorable messaging so they spend less time
explaining who we are and more time focusing on the issues important to our
industry and our members,” said Schmatz. “For consumers, our new brand will
help ensure they fully understand the quality auto care they can receive from
our members. We will continue to provide information about the importance of
vehicle maintenance and care through the ‘Be Car Care Aware’ consumer education
campaign.  

“The volunteer leaders and professional
staff of the Auto Care Association are more ready than ever to stand by and for
our members, so the industry — and its full size, scope and impact — can
receive the credit and recognition it deserves,” said Schmatz.

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The
Auto Care Association celebration reception Thursday evening also
served as the official launch party for the new name and brand
messaging.

More than 420 meeting attendees heard
the news of the official rebranding from Schmatz, during the group’s Leadership
Luncheon yesterday, and also viewed an engaging video showcasing the
association’s new name and its fresh new voice that represents the $327 billion
industry. And, in typical, down-to-the-details fashion, Auto Care Association
staff did a quick changeover of all meeting room signage to reflect the
association’s new name during the proceedings. The Auto Care Association
celebration reception Thursday evening also served as the official launch party
for the new name and brand messaging.

The association’s new website – www.autocare.org – is set to go live in the coming days. Following the Spring meeting, the
Auto Care Association will move on to phases three and four – external rollout
to policy makers (phase 3) when the new Congress is in place, and external
rollout to consumers (phase 4), which is expected to wrap up in 2015.

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Babcox editors Mary DellaValle and Amy
Antenora contributed to this report.

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