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SME rebrands to reflect broader reach

By: Robert Grace

June 27, 2013

SME, the Dearborn, Mich.-based trade association for manufacturers, has announced several strategic changes designed to redefine and rebrand itself.

The 81-year-old, nonprofit organization, previously known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, said the changes are the result of a multiyear, research-led brand development process and is meant to make it more visible that the group supports manufacturing practitioners at all levels of business.

“We have spent years connecting, educating and training technicians, technologists and engineers but since we had 'engineer' in our name, folks assumed we were only working for engineers,” one SME official noted.

The association, which has individual rather than corporate members, is integrating its strategic areas — events, publishing, membership, Tooling U-SME online training division and the SME Education Foundation — around a common mission to advance manufacturing across all the groups it touches.

The group has rolled out a new logo and announced it will refer to itself by its monogram rather than its full legal name, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as a reflection of its growth and expanded reach over the past several decades. SME also adopted a new tagline, “Making the future. Together.” It introduced the new brand identity at its annual conference in Baltimore on June 3.

“The evolution of our brand signifies a momentous point in our history,” said SME Executive Director and CEO Mark Tomlinson. “Our audiences see us as a credible authority, an inclusive community and a provider of solutions that is moving the manufacturing industry forward. We needed our brand to express those vital ideas.”