How to increase member engagement with better brand association

Brand association is a powerful tool for companies and organizations alike. As consumers, your members have brand association for products and services that they are exposed to and interact with. 

But what do your members associate with your organization? 


By Christine Bergeron, Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands



What is brand association? 

Brand association is a “mental connection between a brand and a concept”. This connection can be an emotion, object or image linked to a brand. For example, some well-known brand associations could be Amazon is fast or convenient, or Nike and their “swoosh” logo. These brand associations are the first thing that come to consumers’ minds when they think about these brands.  

The goal of brand association is to create a positive connection between your brand (organization) and your consumers (members). Members who have positive connections with your organization are more likely to be engaged members who re-new their membership year after year. How can you increase your organization’s brand association to increase member engagement and retention? 

The first step to increasing your organization’s brand association is to find out what current members already associate with your organization. One of the best ways to gain these answers is to send a survey to a group of your most engaged members. Be sure to ask open-ended questions about how they would describe their experience with various aspects of your association. Try to find the pain points that cause members to have neutral or negative connections with your organization. 

Some questions to ask in the survey may include: 

  • What words or phrases come to mind when you think about X organization? 
  • How would you describe your overall experience with the association? 
  • How would you describe your experience with X benefit of the association? Examples could be events, the online store, networking opportunities, communications, etc.  
  • What is your favorite benefit of your membership? Why? 
  • What is your least favorite/least utilized benefit of your membership? Why? 
  • Would you refer a colleague or friend to the association? Why?  

TIP: YourMembership association management software has built-in survey functionality, making it easy to create and send targeted surveys and get feedback.  

Now that you have sent your survey and got your results, the next step is to make a plan of action!  Utilize the feedback from the survey responses to make improvements and adjustments to aspects of your organization.  

For example, if you found that many of the survey respondents overall have had a positive experience with your organization, but a neutral or negative experience with your events, this could be a great area for improvement.   

Implementing changes from the survey feedback can help your organization to increase member engagement and retention. This exercise greatly benefits both members and the organization. Current members feel that the organization has their best interests in mind and continues to provide them value, and the organization continues to improve their member experience and brand association.  

Learn more
Don’t stop now, continue to learn more about your members to create relevant and targeted communications. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn How to drive value and growth with member personas!

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