America’s National Association of Realtors has been helping shape the real estate industry for more than 100 years. Earlier this month the organization revealed “a modern new visual identity to make its iconic brand and mark more multi-dimensional, dynamic and future-focused.”
The new logo and visual identity system, redesigned for the first time in 45 years, was selected, according to NAR, because it “leverages many of the familiar attributes and visual elements of the trusted Realtor® mark, including the very recognizable blue color palette, but moves the logo from a flat two dimensional image to 3-D, adding further depth, dimension and elevation to the brand.”
In a rare move, after the cube-like new logo was revealed and then panned as “boxy” and “dated” by influential critic Armin Vit at Brand New, the organization revoked the new brand after members protested. NAR released a statement from CEO Bob Goldberg and President Elizabeth Mendenhall informing members of the postponement:
Since we announced the brand evolution and logo redesign, we have received a diversity of opinions that ranged from strong support to outright disapproval. Please know how much we appreciate member input and how seriously we take your feedback.
While the issues that drove this process to evaluate and ultimately evolve the REALTOR® logo still exist, we are pausing its implementation. This extra time will allow us to further examine the enhancement of the REALTOR® brand proposition, including the logo, which means so much to you and your business.
We are a member-centric organization and this decision to postpone the brand transformation demonstrates that your national association is listening.
From condemnation to praise, the branding—the cube logo, particularly—ignited a range of responses, including on RISMedia.com.
“As we tried to reimagine our REALTOR® R, we thought about the people behind the brand—the human beings who are making the real estate transaction happen,” said Goldberg of the revamp at the time. “Consumers trust our members and our brand represents trust. We don’t ever want to lose sight of the fact that the human factor makes the brand what it is.”
“NAR and its members have always understood that real estate is, and always will be, a people-focused business,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty.
“The evolution of the Realtor brand reinforces who we are as an organization—an unrivaled advocate and trusted resource in real estate, growing and adapting to the changing demographics and needs of today’s buyers, sellers and investors. It expresses the role that Realtors® play in a meaningful and deeply emotional milestone in life, and more than simply a transaction, we are helping clients achieve their hopes and dreams.”
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
The original “block R” logo was first adopted in 1973, when the association changed its name from the National Association of Real Estate Boards to the National Association of Realtors®. The membership mark is recognized globally, and identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the association and subscribes to its strict code of ethics. Not all real estate agents are Realtors®, and only those who join the association can call themselves a Realtor® and use the membership mark.
The newly evolved mark and logo, referred to as a “new dimension,” was touted for having a a contemporary 3-D cube holding a slightly redrawn but still very recognizable “R” letterform and a simple and bold san-serif typography for the association name.
“Technology, shifting market conditions and consumers are reshaping the real estate industry at a breakneck pace; and when I became NAR’s CEO last fall, I vowed to lead the association into the future and ensure that our members can compete and thrive in a dynamic marketplace,” stated NAR CEO Bob Goldberg about the need for a new visual identity.
“The new brand embodies the association’s rich history, but better reflects our forward-thinking focus and how we’ll stay ahead of industry evolution and disruption and continue to lead the real estate industry in the years ahead.”