Brand Strategy: A Regional Chamber of Commerce Reestablishes Itself

The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce needed an identity–not just a slogan, but a brand that was a legitimate promise and reason for businesses to join.  The goal of the project was to develop a compelling brand for this non-profit organization that was relevant and could attract a diverse group of community constituents.


Avenue ISR principles were engaged to help develop the new brand, which involved a comprehensive research process including current, former, prospective members, as well as staff and community leaders. The essence of the brand was captured through the tagline, “Growing Business. Building Community.” a nod to both the demand from businesses to see tangible business results as well as the larger mission of the Chamber to lead the community. The project also included the development of a detailed Brand Identity Manual, which was a guide for Chamber staff and members in utilizing and promoting the brand. The team identified the appropriate messages and marketing vehicles to help attract new members as well as to address the needs of its various member segments.   Further, the team made operational recommendations to close some gaps relative to needs and expectations of its members. The project won a high degree of acceptance from the many and diverse constituencies who had a stake in the Chamber. The result of the process was a solid reversal of negative membership numbers and improved member communications.