San Diego Regional Chamber Repositioning Effort

Challenge:

After completing a comprehensive strategic planning process with its newly established leadership team, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce approached NST to help determine how to message and roll out its new organizational trajectory. NST recommended a comprehensive research project with current members, past members and San Diego-area businesses that had never joined the chamber to determine these audiences’ current perceptions and how they saw the chamber adding value to their business, as well as test some preliminary key messages. The research showed that members and non-members were looking to the chamber to use its political clout to help make San Diego a more business-friendly environment.

Based on this new strategic direction and a commitment to become more aggressive in supporting pro-business policies and candidates in the region, NST recommended the chamber explore repositioning itself to better reflect its new organizational goal, and to modernize the nearly 145-year-old organization. Working closely with chamber staff, NST took the chamber through its Compass planning process and developed a new positioning platform, key messages, logo and collateral package, and helped the organization implement the new graphic standards and messaging into each of its communication touch points.

To reveal the "new" chamber to the San Diego business community, a large, free event was held to introduce the organization’s journey toward making San Diego the most business-friendly region in California. Nearly 1,200 attendees registered for the event, which not only celebrated the chamber’s new direction and look, but also the membership that makes the organization so effective. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer was also on hand to support the chamber team in their efforts.

Results:

The chamber’s new direction has been well-received by its members and the San Diego business community, and the organization has garnered tremendous support as it fights to make San Diego the most business-friendly region in California.

The chamber is using its political connections and that of its nearly 3,000 member companies with more than 400,000 employees to fight for policies and candidates that support business growth and the creation of jobs.

With its renewed political focus, the chamber won four out of five endorsements it made in the November 2014 elections.

Every major print publication in San Diego – U-T San Diego, San Diego Business Journal, The Daily Transcript, as well as key broadcast interviews – covered the chamber’s new look and direction.