martes, 25 de junio de 2019

Chamber’s brand

Why Brand Identity Matters for Chambers

Is a Brand Identity important for Chambers? What exactly is a Brand Identity? Can a Brand Identity be explained? These questions are critical to ask yourself. If you can’t accurately define it, aren’t sure how to explain it, but are pretty sure it might be important, could you even come up with Brand Identity for your organization?

Yes. As a matter of fact, you’re probably further along in the process than you realize. It’s just a matter of analyzing what elements are already in place and what is needed to complement those items.

Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Oh, we have a brand identity. The Board approved the new logo last year.”

Good, you’re already on your way to making sure you have an established brand.The logo is a critical component. It is the foundation of a brand and gives a visual of your organization’s identity.

But what about the rest? What exactly is brand identity? (Spoiler alert: it’s more than just a logo.)

Branding Basics

Branding gives people a mental impression of your Chamber. It makes your organization both recognizable and memorable. Consider the following quotes:

“Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be." – Small Business Encyclopedia,


"Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice versa." - Jay Bauer, author of the book Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is About Help Not Hype

Define Your Brand

Defining your  can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. The easiest way is to ask yourself the following questions:
What are the benefits, features, and unique aspects of your Chamber’s products or services?
What do your members and prospective members already think of your Chamber?
What qualities do you want them to associate with your Chamber?

Don’t be intimidated. It’s really not as complicated as it sounds. Be honest in your answers. Authenticity is key in reaching your target market. Your members’ core values and goals should be at the forefront of your effort (for both this exercise and your overall mission, right?).

So, where do you go from here? You’ve successfully defined your brand, the next step is to capture that definition with a brand identity.

Establish Your Brand Identity

A brand identity should communicate your Chamber’s promise, look, attributes, and personality. Yes, even personality. Business may be the name of the game, but don’t forget that businesses are made up of people and people inherently operate on an emotional level.

Your brand stands for what you are. It should represent the sum of all of your marketing efforts.

Creating a brand identity begins with a variety of elements:

Name: the word or words (e.g. Coca-Cola or Coke)

Logo: the visual trademark ( e.g. Quaker Oats Quaker man)

Tagline: a catchphrase or slogan (e.g. “Snap, Crackle, Pop” – Rice Krispies)

Graphics: a clear and effective picture (e.g. Nike swoosh)

Colors: Owens-Corning is the only brand of fiberglass insulation that can be pink.

Sounds: a set of notes denoting a brand. (e.g. McDonald’s I’m Lovin’ It)

Remember, your Chamber’s brand will be frequently communicated in multiple arenas. Consistency is key. Defining brand identity creates the foundation for the rest of your marketing and brand strategy.

There’s a challenge in defining your Chamber’s identity. It’s easy to emulate what others have done, and that’s always a safe bet. It worked for them. But, that’s them. Remember, personality and authenticity are key. You may think your target market is very similar to theirs, and that could be true. But similar is still different. The differences may be subtle, but they are unique. Your Chamber’s brand should be unique, too. Don’t be afraid to forge your own path.

By the Numbers: Chamber Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth is so powerful because “we trust each other so much more than we trust businesses.” – Jay Baer


Word-of-mouth-marketing (WOMM) is defined as: An unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product or service and is triggered when a customer (member) experiences something beyond what is expected.


83% of Americans have recommended a product or service to someone else.
55% of Americans make product or service recommendations to others at least once per month.
48% of Gen Zs have made a recommendation because they’ve heard good things about the product, service, brand, or company from a friend or family member
30% of Gen Zs have made a recommendation because they’ve overheard someone praising the product, service, brand, or company.
Word-of-mouth drives 13% of sales. WHO

On average, 10% of customers drive over 50% of word-of-mouth marketing.

Take extra time for your advocates—anyone who has shown clear affection for your chamber—making sure to add value by bringing them closer to your organization. Ask for their feedback, invite them to do a case study, and make them feel involved (without having to commit their time). WHERE

Word-of-mouth is different than social media. Be careful about confusing the two. WOMM happens everywhere. It encompasses a variety of sub-categories so it can include social media, but overall, it’s about human interaction.


Do what you said you would do. If you haven’t fulfilled the promises that were made to members, WOMM will turn on you, becoming your greatest foe. Chatter about a negative experience is incredibly damaging.

It has been said that brand perception is half product, half customer experience. For chambers, the product is the experience, so there is no chance to get it half right. It’s all or nothing, so do it all. WHEN

Piggybacking off of a successful event or after positive media coverage are no-brainers for generating buzz. But for any other time, have you simply asked?

You’ve probably asked members to donate and volunteer their time. Have you directly asked members to tell friends about the organization? It probably hadn’t occurred to them that letting people know is helpful. It’s a great option for those that can’t donate or volunteer. Pay attention to all of your members, but go above and beyond for your advocates. It will come back to you unequivocally.

Website Governance for Chambers

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And often, the first impression of your chamber happens when a prospective member visits your website.

Precisely why you need to know about website governance.

So, what is it? Website governance is a system for managing your online presence in an orderly way. From a chamber's perspective, website governance lays the necessary foundation for your digital presence. Do it well and you get certainty and stability.

Your chamber’s digital presence should be a top priority. Not only for prospects, but for current members as well. If your site operates smoothly and has a consistent look and feel, current members will also embrace it.

Website governance is not the same as website management. Website governance is about putting policies and procedures in place to ensure a consistent look. It helps to maintain your website and provides a high level of organization. However, don’t confuse it with website management. Whereas management focuses on completing a task, governance determines policies and procedures for maintaining and managing the site.

How website governance benefits your chamber.
Governance lays the website foundation and its productivity.
A well-structured site encourages your members to return, and prospects to join.
Chamber employees will have clear guidelines on what is expected.
No matter how little information your site contains, website governance benefits everyone.

Here are the three main areas that work together to increase your success:
Policies – Policies should be clear and consistent and cover privacy, accessibility compliance, rules, laws, social media usage, content review and so on.

Example: When linking to or attaching documents to web pages, they must be in PDF file format.
Standards – Establish standards to guide copywriters and designers as well as ensuring consistency in both voice and design.

Example: Standards are often outlined by a Brand Guideline Manual.
Processes – Clearly state the procedures that ensure any policies and standards are incorporated in any changes to the site.

Example: Outline the process for each blog post to include URL optimization, descriptions, and titles.

Implementing these three pillars of governance will reduce inconsistencies and safeguard the integrity of the site’s voice and visual presence.

How to start: Your chamber probably has some sort of governance system in place without realizing it. But it’s still helpful to start from the beginning, determining the model that works best for your website.

Choose a model based off of any or all of these factors: chamber, goals, culture, and website type.

The most common website governance models are:
Advisory Board
Management Team
Policy Board

Models are usually broken down into two main components.
Resources – Encompasses people, tools, budget and process
Activities – Encompasses development, maintenance, leadership and infrastructure

If one model isn’t a good fit, try another. No matter how you go about it, implementing structure will keep your chamber on the path to success.

A Simple Tactic to Appeal to Prospective Young Members

In an article recently featured in Minnesota Meetings and Events magazine, ChamberMaster’s parent company, GrowthZone, explored benefits that attract young professional members.

This demographic has high expectations for their memberships; with the influx of millennials and Gen Z into the workspace, membership-based organizations must continue to consider their offerings carefully.

Providing benefits that young professionals really want is critical. But more importantly, communicating these benefits is key.

Of all the benefits chambers should promote in order to attract young members, resume building is particularly enticing.

Job opportunity is a primary motivation driving young professionals to seek out chamber membership. The ability to expand their resume by serving in leadership roles or on a committee is compelling.

Complementing resume-building options with professional development programs allows members to participate at a variety of commitment levels. From the smallest engagement (answering questions in an online forum) to major participation (speaking at an event), young professionals can take advantage of numerous professional development and networking opportunities.

By providing young professionals with the tools to become leaders in their industry, chambers validate their value. This, in turn, increases recruitment and retention numbers.

A Chamber Mission Statement: What it is (and isn’t)

Writing a chamber mission statement isn’t difficult; the key is to make sure you have a clear understanding of what it is (and isn’t). Keep yours simple, make it compelling, and ensure it’s measurable and remains relevant. Mission statements for chambers are essential to planning and can be as short as one sentence, or a brief paragraph.


PayPal: “To build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution.”

Trip Advisor: “To help people around the world plan and have the perfect trip.”

Coca-Cola: “To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.”

Walt Disney: “To be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.”

A mission statement is not the same as a vision statement. Essentially, a Mission Statement defines an organization’s identity (who we are) and purpose (what we do); it’s in the present and doesn’t change. Conversely, a Vision Statement is about promoting growth and setting goals; it’s forward-thinking (where we want to be) and can evolve and change. Practice by taking a run at writing your own, personal mission statement about yourself. It should be unique, clear, and succinct. It’s a quick way to learn and it can be fun. What have you got to lose?

Writing a Press Release for Chambers

The purpose of a press release is to get attention, make news, and generate publicity. It’s cost-effective marketing (free) and they can be used to create brand awareness for your chamber.

The Basics of Crafting a Press Release:

Make it newsworthy; it’s not an ad, it’s a news article
Use an attention-grabbing headline
Be time sensitive – no one wants old news
Stick to one topic
Write it in a professional tone, or even better, write it like you’re a reporter
Proofread it and then have someone else proofread it

Key Components of a Press Release:
Letterhead (identify that it’s from your organization)
“For Immediate Release” under the date
Headline: Limit it to 15 words
Subtitle (optional): Keep it short
Lead paragraph: Your organization’s location (city, state) in bold type and the 5 Ws (who, what, when, why, where) of the story
2nd Paragraph: Supportive information and at least one quote
Other paragraphs: Additional, relevant, non-essential information
Call to Action: An exact, complete, non-embedded URL (not “Click Here to visit website”) in one of the paragraphs
Conclusion: A brief description of your organization
Media Contact Information: Name, email, phone, and website

A Press Release Should Not:
Be longer than 1 page
Have a lot of formatting
Include exclamation points (unless it’s a direct quote)
Use the words: I, we, our, me

Distribution of a Press Release:
Develop a media contact list of people you will send the release to
Send the release to an actual person, or at least to a specific news department
Use a detailed subject line in your email (not simply “Press Release”)
Post the release on your website
Share the release on social media

Incorporating all of this into your chamber’s press release should result in a well-organized, relevant article that is newsworthy.

How to Sell Chamber of Commerce Memberships

Hate selling memberships? You’re just human.

Whether it’s membership renewals, event sponsorship, or convincing people to serve on the board, people in the chamber world are always selling. And for most people, selling is just plain uncomfortable.

Check out these tactics on how to talk with people about your chamber:

Consider this: If you don’t like to sell, you’re perfect for the job. You just need to stop thinking that sales are bad for the customer.

Chances are you love your chamber, believe in its mission, and you know it’s valuable to members.

Approach sales prospects with the mindset that you are there to partner with them to help solve a problem.

Yes, selling is uncomfortable. But, partnering with someone to help solve a problem is human nature. You don’t have to be a salesperson, you just have to be human.

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