Set against a gold background with symbolic rays of the sun, the ALA’s traditional blue star emblem has remained a fixture during our 103 years of service. In our next era, complete with a set of new brand marks courtesy of The American Legion, our organization will still be represented as the go-to support for military, veterans, and their families — but with a different look.
Because the blue star emblem is as much of a legacy as the American Legion Auxiliary itself, it will not be going away … it will simply be used in specific applications. A refreshed look and feel will help ALA members in recruiting efforts and publicizing our mission outreach to an audience we haven’t touched yet.
A different course, but keeping with tradition
ALA members have a good grasp on what it means to be branded, but what does that mean for the future?
As we say in the intro of the ALA Branding Guide, our brand is our identity. It’s our reputation, our promise. It’s how the public recognizes us. It defines who we are — a community of volunteers serving veterans, military, and their families.
In essence, branding means showing off your organization or company in the form of logos on apparel, signs, hats, business cards, coffee mugs, tablecloths — the possibilities are endless. You can have your logo branded on a big billboard and even on tiny M&Ms candy.
When you’re working at an ALA unit event or mission outreach activity and you’re not wearing the emblem on your shirt, hat, or jacket, or your signs don’t give off the slightest vibe of what you do, it’s a missed opportunity. Those simple things are advertisements for our organization as a whole, and your unit as a local place to support veterans, military, and their families.
Proper branding lets people know who’s in charge of an event, who’s running the show, and who’s responsible for it. If someone has a question, they’ll come up to you and see your organization. Bonus if they join your unit on the spot or afterward!
You’ve heard ALA National Headquarters talk about branding for quite some time now. In fact, the majority of photos submitted for consideration in ALA media usually have members wearing shirts emblazoned with the emblem. This is great news! It means we’re all understanding the importance of being walking advertisements for the American Legion Auxiliary.
But now, it’s time for a new brand for the next era.
For over a century, the American Legion Auxiliary has been nobly and ably represented by its 1919-patented emblem. As we look to the next era of ALA, the time has come for new brand marks to be used in all marketing communications applications. This also includes new marks for The American Legion Family and program brands. What does this mean for the ALA? It means new brand marks — or logos — on those shirts, hats, signs, and other items visible to the public.
Traditional emblem isn’t going away
Back in September 2022, the Legion — which owns the ALA’s trademark name and emblem — obtained the final trademark on a new set of Legion Family marks that included the Auxiliary. National Headquarters was notified over the summer that some changes were coming, and the final versions were approved for trademark in the fall.
If you read the November 2022 issue of Auxiliary magazine, you might have noticed a teaser page about the new marks. Our social media accounts, www.ALAforVeterans.org, and many other national ALA media pieces were updated thereafter.
It’s important to note that the new marks will not replace the ALA’s traditional blue star emblem. Instead, the emblems and brand marks alike are to be used in specific applications that will better serve The American Legion Family going forward.
What the heck does that mean?
We can assure it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Below is a quick visual from The American Legion on how to use our new marks.
What all of this ‘new marks’ stuff means for members
There are two notable takeaways from the news about these new marks: One, they are helping us promote the ALA with a refreshed look and feel. This will help us in our recruiting efforts and publicizing our mission outreach to an audience we haven’t touched yet. Two, the traditional blue star emblem isn’t going away, meaning we’re not completely rebranding. But we are moving in a new direction with the new marks.
In a nutshell, the emblem will be internally facing, meaning to our Legion Family members. The new brand marks would be used most often in an externally facing format, to our general public, and yes, potential new members.
We think it’ll be fun to set out on a different course, but keeping with tradition. We hope you feel the same way, and we can’t wait to take you along on the journey.
A new look = exciting stuff for the ALA! We’re ushering in a new generation of marketing resources with these new marks. Check out www.ALAforVeterans.org for refreshed templates for your recruiting and promotional efforts, plus ALA membership needs, including flyers, PowerPoint templates, virtual backgrounds, and more.
ALA National Headquarters teams are here to answer any questions you might have about our branding, emblem requests, etc. Contact us at PR@ALAforVeterans.org.