As organizations get larger their responsibilities can double or triple in size, decisions become harder to make, resources are stretched, and upholding your association’s brand promise can sometimes be pushed to the side to make way for quicker or cheaper options.
“A brand promise can directly affect an organization’s bottom line positively or negatively,” professional services network, Deloitte, shared. “Furthermore, when a company consistently realizes its brand promise, it reinforces its reputation and builds brand equity.”
What many fail to realize is that although these quick decisions are beneficial in the short term, in the long run, pushing aside your organization’s brand promise opens the door to members and employees feeling left behind and unheard.
In order to combat this, growing organizations need to take calculated steps to embrace and uphold their brand promises. Doing so may not be the easiest, but it is the smartest way to retain and even recruit your organization’s members.
For large organizations, it can be hard to prioritize brand promises when many decisions are typically made by various departments or teams. One way to combat this is by insisting on purpose-driven leadership, which is when a leader prioritizes their purpose and values over anything else when making decisions on behalf of the business.
Purpose-driven leadership not only models the importance of your brand promise to an organization’s board and employees but also to its members. When they can see that an organization is doing everything it can to uphold its values, their respect and loyalty grow.
When an organization makes purpose-driven leadership a priority, its values and mission become ingrained in every decision, plan, and action taken, upholding and emphasizing its brand promise at every turn.
The easiest way to know if your organization is upholding its brand promise is by simply asking. When your brand promise is neglected, your employees and members will feel it.
Send a company-wide email asking for feedback, send a survey or host an anonymous tip line for respondents to share their thoughts and feelings about the organization’s dedication - or lack thereof - to their brand promise. Once you’ve collected the responses, actually do something about it!
For example, a member could share that they feel the organization is no longer actively working towards a goal they’ve previously promised to reach. The first step would be to reach out to the member, apologize, and share ideas for upcoming projects or events that the organization can participate in to reach that promised goal.
To really embrace an organization’s brand promise, they can’t rely solely on the feedback of their members and employees. Taking the initiative to perform regular audits of the organization’s efforts, goals, successes, and failures will not only show the areas needing improvement but will also communicate to members and stakeholders the importance of that brand promise.
Upholding an association’s brand promise can be a challenge, but by taking actionable steps, including emphasizing purpose-driven leadership, actively searching for feedback, and connecting internal audits, organizations can successfully retain the loyalty and admiration of their members.
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Ashley Neal joined the Sidecar team in March of 2020, right as the COVID-19 pandemic began to shut down life as we knew it. Having to adapt, overcome and predict the changes needed to survive in the new normal, Ashley now has the skills needed to juggle any obstacle thrown her way. A graduate from Southeastern Louisiana University in the field of Strategic Communications, Ashley spends her days balancing her work with her love of dogs. Taking her large pack of dogs to restaurants, hiking trails, vacations and even participating in dog shows and sports is the highlight of her weekends.
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