Sunday, January 3, 2016

First Impressions. Word of Mouth. Associations.


“You only get one chance to make a great first impression!”

Ok, I hate to start 2016 with a cliche. But, it works.

Living in a golf community has given me a personal perspective of the power of word of mouth within membership communities.

All of this is important to association professionals.

Example:
  • A regional supermarket chain recently purchased another supermarket chain that had a market “around the corner” from our community. Their big announcement included a projected date when they would convert the store to the new brand. Like many in our community, we looked forward – hopefully – to the opening of the new store.
  • We anticipated positive changes.
  • Well, you can imagine our surprise when visiting the “new” store on opening weekend. 
  • We discovered the same old drab store ... with a rather limited supply of products and a “no-so-nice” odor around the “fresh fruit and vegetable” location. I even ended up with spoiled milk ... a problem we had with the former store brand.
  • What a disappointment.
  • And, the disappointing news spread rapidly within our community. Soon, it was the “talk of the town.” And, many of our friends and neighbors talked about the “issues” with the new store and “vowed” not to shop there again.
Talk about word of mouth!

For association executives, the question is what impressions do your members get from your events? Your publications? Your social media? Your staff? And, are you monitoring to be sure they positively reinforce your brand? Are you monitoring the word of mouth within your association?

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