More Than a Membership: Create Belonging Through Sound Brand Strategy

This post is based on a recent seminar I attended a couple of months ago in Washington, DC.

The following are my notes based on the conversation led by Jennie Winton of Mission Minded.

What is your Brand?  Your logo (visual identity) is not your brand nor are the programs you produce are your brand.  Your brand is your reputation.  It’s what people think about you when they see your name.

Benefits of a Strong Brand – it creates a relationship with your key stakeholders.  It also minimizes competitive threats.  In other words, they think of you first instead of your competition.

She went on to talk about how it can defend you against negative news.  A strong brand will make it easier for your sales team to bring on new members and retain the ones you have.  A strong brand is built on benefits not features (we generally talk about our “features” not the “benefits,” something that might solve their problems.

I’ve talked about that in a past post that can be found HERE.

Here are Jennie's 6 Steps to Rebranding:

1. Assess the brand you have now – survey your members and non-members to find out what your known for or not known for.  Look for patterns.

2. Identify your audience – those that are most likely to join.  That’s another way of saying you can’t be all things to all people.  Who are our core members that allow us to fulfill our mission?

3. Examine the competition – I’ve said this before, look to the next town or community and that chamber is your competition.  What makes you different?  Create a brand that differentiates you from the competition.

4. Find the open opportunity – how are you different?  What are we offering to our members that they can’t get elsewhere?  Do they feel good by joining your organization?

5. Distill that difference into its purest essence, your brand positioning – think Volvo/Safety, Apple/Innovation, Nike/Celebrate Athletes and Athletics.

6. Intentionally begin to send signals that reinforce the band you want to have – what we do, how we sound, how we look, and how we act.

She ended with “Brand is everyone’s responsibility.”

For more information on branding from One Marketing Limited go HERE.

A great resource on How To Craft Your Belief Message can be found HERE by Mission Minded.