Todd Sigety is the President of the International Society of Appraisers. As an expert appraiser, Todd is certified in Antiques and Residential Contents—making him qualified to appraise a wide range of fine and decorative arts. As ISA President, Todd stays busy working to support member needs, reach new audiences and extend overall brand awareness.
I interviewed Todd as part of our 6 Questions feature: a series of one-on-one interviews with people we work with who’ve made us proud. We get very close to our clients and their brands during the brand development process, and when we see them doing great work and achieving great things, it’s very personal to us. They’re rocking their brands in exciting and innovative ways, taking the ideas we developed together and using them to grow their organizations. We find how a brand works out in the “real world” fascinating and hope you will, too.
Read on to discover how ISA’s advertising campaign came to life, the impact of a thoughtful rebrand and what Smithsonian item Todd played a role in appraising.
1. ISA recently unveiled two new ad campaigns that you’ve been working on with BatesMeron. What was your motivation for creating these ads?
Two factors came into play when deciding to create the campaigns. First, it was important for us to promote the ISA mission and brand. Therefore, we wanted the campaign to help establish brand recognition and raise awareness of who we are and what we do. Our second objective was to help our members’ marketing efforts. As an association we want to support our members in any way we can, which is why one of the campaigns was specifically developed for our members to use to promote their own businesses.
2. As part of your campaign, we created an ad that can easily be co-branded by individual ISA members. What does this mean for ISA members and why is it so important?
As ISA has matured over the years, we now have the resources to give back to the members who’ve supported us. Choosing to provide a co-branding opportunity for our members was our way of rewarding their loyal and dedicated membership. It’s an extra benefit that we are happy to offer and excited to see used.
3. BatesMeron and the ISA team worked very closely throughout the entire creative development of these ads. Tell us about the collaboration process and how you think it affected the progress of the ad campaigns.
Collaboration played a crucial role during the campaign building process from Day One. Having BatesMeron’s guidance throughout all creative development helped us realize that there were too many cooks in our ISA kitchen. From there the team at BMSD helped us narrow our focus and bring our strategy to life—ultimately keeping us on the right track and moving us forward.
The BMSD team made us feel confident about making decisions, always providing advice and talent to help resolve any roadblocks. As independent appraisers, we aren’t used to taking expertise from others, but BatesMeron’s insight, professionalism and creativity consistently ensured that we were in good hands and that we were going to have a great end result. The excellent project management at BMSD also helped teach us organizational skills that we’ve taken with us to use in other areas of focus.
4. ISA just had your annual conference in Chicago, where hundreds of ISA members from across the nation spent a long weekend enriching themselves with educational seminars, speakers and panel discussions. What goes into planning and executing such a large event each year, and what are your plans for next year’s conference?
ISA has become known for hosting one of the best appraiser conferences in the industry, so continuing to uphold those standards is important to us. When it comes to planning and executing we look to the support of our association management firm, Sentergroup. They find the best venues, handle negotiations and do all the planning with contracts, hotels and administration work. Our ISA Member Committee is responsible for selecting conference speakers and has had great success in continuously finding brilliant speakers with great information and topics to share with members.
We are very pleased that our most recent conference in Chicago was a record year for sponsorship. Both Sentergroup and BatesMeron played an integral role in developing our local presence, ensuring that ISA was ready, once again, for another memorable conference.
5. At your annual conference I was able to speak about the importance of Intentional Marketing, which is the concept that choosing to market or not market is an intentional decision. In doing so, I talked about ISA’s decision to rebrand. What made ISA want to rebrand and what has been the impact so far?
So much of our brand’s identity was simply outdated. The ISA website was very old and cluttered and our logo was in need of a facelift. Our desire to do more promotional marketing also played a role in our choice to rebrand. We knew that an updated brand would have a larger impact in the success of our marketing and help bring our association to the next level.
With the advice and support of BatesMeron, we decided that a complete rebrand would be the best starting point in moving our association forward. BMSD developed new logos for ISA and ISA Members, as well as graphic standards to ensure our brand elements would always be used and presented correctly in all future work.
The response from ISA members has been wonderful. Everyone loves our fresh look and feels that it truly represents our brand’s strengths and mission. I’ve seen so much pride taken in showing off our improved look, which has also generated more membership action.
The seamless evolution from our old identity to our current identity has positioned ISA as a leader within the appraisal industry, setting us apart from other organizations, in a good way. After our rebrand we saw other organizations take action of their own—which goes to show how impactful a strategic and thoughtful rebrand can be.
6. As President of ISA and an expert appraiser, you must have plenty of great on-the-job stories. Can you tell us about a unique experience you’ve had?
I was asked to appraise the first-ever purpose-built mountain bike, which can now be found in the Smithsonian Institution. The bike was a 1975-76 year build and had been donated by the owner/engineer—a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. It was the first built in a collection of 30 mountain bikes, each considered unique and very rare.
For the appraisal, we talked with many experts in the field and tracked some of the private sales of other Series 1 and Series 2 bikes. (I also got to speak with Richard Schwinn during the process.) After the appraisal was complete, a wonderful perk was being able to explore the back room of the Smithsonian, which, as you can imagine, was extremely fascinating and an experience I’ll always remember.