If I said “Butterball Turkey,” the word innovation probably doesn’t come to mind. You probably think of an established company, with a decent reputation. It’s not sexy, but reliable and when you think turkey, they’re probably one of the first brands that comes to mind.
But Butterball Turkey has one difficulty that new companies don’t. Because they’re established, they need to continually reinvent themselves to remain relevant and in the conversation. Your chamber may face the same challenges. Likely, you have a good brand and reputation. People may not know exactly what you do, but they know you’re reputable and do something with business.
But do they think “innovative” when they think of your chamber?
If you’ve taken the time to market yourself through growing engagement, they might. But if you’re doing it the same way you always have, innovation might not be a conversation you’re included in.
Meeting Modern Chamber Members’ Needs
So how do you meet modern chamber members’ needs?
- You have to understand them. Really understand them. And that means polls, surveys, conversations, and data analysis.
- Do what it takes to meet those needs. Butterball expanded their 24-hour turkey hotline to include text messaging in 2016.
- Think ahead of what they will need in the future and start planning for it now. For Butterball that might mean a chatbot. For your chamber, meeting modern members’ needs could encompass hosting virtual events or e-courses.
- Recalculate. Meeting their needs isn’t a finish line. It’s the beginning of a new way to engage your members. Never be satisfied with just one solution. Butterball didn’t extend their Turkey Line hours (to 24) several years ago only to stop there. They decided in 2016 their customers (and anyone else who wants to contact them) needed text access to turkey help. If you find something that meets your members’ needs, don’t stop there. Always look for improvements and ways to appeal to them.
- Serve everyone. In 2017, brands aren’t picking and choosing who can use their content or resources. A smart brand does target a particular group but leaves the potential customer to find value in their offerings. Most brands won’t turn you down from accessing their free resources just because you’re not a customer. Butterball answers anyone’s turkey dilemmas. While you should strive to attract an ideal member and create resources designed for them, you’re really supporting your entire business community.