Brown fizzy caffeinated sugar water is just a ordinary soda without the Coca-Cola brand. The marketers at Coke, masters at branding, understand how to leverage their brand to earn millions. Here are the steps for making your association’s brand work for you.
Learn what the brand stands for
1. Talk to members and find out what positive associations they have with the brand. What do they like? What’s of most value? What drew them in to join? Why do they continue to be a member?
2. Use these member insights to determine what’s really working for your brand. What are members inspired by? What do they like the most? Do these benefits support your mission? Work out strategies to strengthen these benefits even more. Use these strengths when messaging prospective members. Reinforce the key brand strengths with existing members often. Align all member benefits, events and content to support these brand promises.
Understand flaws in the association brand
3. Have honest conversations with members to identify the current challenges they are experiencing with your brand. What negative perceptions do members have? What might hold them back from renewing?
4. Look for patterns in the responses to determine the top items that are holding you back. Are you hearing negative attributes like: old-school, slow to act or institutional? Identify which negative perceptions hurt the association’s ability to move forward. Develop strategies to improve these perceptions over time.
Understanding your brand through the eyes of your members is the best way to start strengthening your association’s brand.