Explaining the IICRC and its Service Mark
Change is the word that best explains the last eight months at the IICRC. Between restructuring the board of directors, to announcing the ITA (International Trade Association) and launching (and re-launching) the new branding, I understand that a lot has been going on and it’s probably been tough to stay informed. Following the Certification Council meeting in March, we have implemented several new channels to stay connected to the organization. Then, on April 22, we launched the new and improved IICRC.org, which we’ll be updating regularly with new information. The website will be your best source for information. Additionally, our goal is to have a bi-monthly e-newsletter, which will replace the previous hard copy, quarterly newsletter enabling more frequent communication.
Our organization has gone through an extensive branding process throughout the last two years. In October 2011, we announced “the cleantrust” as the new name of the entire organization. In the months following, the board solicited the feedback from shareholder associations, instructors, distributers, general registrants, schools and more, and considered many options. Ultimately, during a board meeting in mid-March, the board voted to change the name of the organization back to IICRC and use the cleantrust as a service mark. This answers the call for the organization to recognize its 40-year history and importance to the industry, while keeping the consumer-friendly service mark that will help grow awareness outside of the industry.
Our new look and feel, introduced in October, will remain relatively unchanged. The new logo provides an updated, modern feel and represents the global nature of the organization. Additionally, all consumer-facing materials will remain cleantrust-branded, as an IICRC program. The original driver of the name change was to help increase traction outside the industry. In registrant surveys taken in 2010 and 2011, name recognition outside the industry was cited as the organization’s greatest challenge. In the comments received, feedback called for more end-user awareness. Listening to the registrants and instructors, it’s clear that overall they want the organization to stay the IICRC – but using the cleantrust as a service mark will allow end-users, especially consumers, to also recognize the name.
This is also important as we realize many of our registrants have updated their materials – and we’re very grateful for their willingness to quickly adapt – so we want to assure them that all materials that they have altered are still the materials they should be using. The organization has created brand guidelines, which headquarters will be happy to share with you, that outline when registrants should use IICRC and when registrants should use the cleantrust.
We realize there has been a lot of change, but I do want to reiterate that I believe these changes will only strengthen our organization. This year is all about relationships. We’re poised for growth both internally, as lines of communication between the organization and our registrants have been opened up, and externally, as the cleantrust branding presents opportunity to market ourselves beyond the industry. The board and I have established communications channels with instructors and we will soon be doing the same for schools. Keep in mind the IICRC is a volunteer board of directors, and instructors and schools are for volunteering and profit. When we work as one, registrants receive more benefits, they in turn want more education, and there is an increased demand for their services. Now that’s a win, win, win for all.