There is a very interesting discussion occurring on the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook right now.
Just as companies revamp a brand to stay up with the times, chambers should consider the same. Is your brand still relevant? Is the title “chamber of commerce” outdated, filling 20- and 30-somethings’ minds with ideas of old people and “mixers” and not a dynamic group they’d like to be a part of?
Several chamber of commerce professionals were debating the idea of changing with the times:
Has anyone considered NOT using the phrase Chamber of Commerce in their name and completely going outside the box, focusing their brand.name more on what they DO rather than what they ARE? Curious to hear your thoughts.
Does “Chamber of Commerce” Speak to Your Community?
“Chamber of Commerce” doesn’t resonate with younger people. It sounds stodgy and old. Several chambers have taken it upon themselves to create a brand that is more appealing.
Many chambers found the change they needed in merely shortening their title from “chamber of commerce” to chamber. We do it in speech, so why not carry that through?
It’s all About Growth
For the chambers that have merged with other chambers or economic development councils, many have chosen a name that is more synonymous with economic growth and innovation such as:
- Greater Mankato Growth
- Vail Valley Partnership
- Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance
- Forward Janesville
- Marion County Development Partnership
- Portage County Business Council
For areas that attract a lot of tourists a generic title like information center works well, especially because younger tourists don’t know exactly what a chamber of commerce does and they’ll be less likely to stop in. The formal title is not as inviting in many cases.
As popular as these ideas are, there were many members who valued the “chamber of commerce” title for its tradition and its rich history. What do you think? Change with the times or keep your chamber’s historic roots?
Image credit: Orange County Archives via Flickr