Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., offers her views on how a club can determine its brand. She says understanding the organization’s culture is a key aspect of identifying its brand.
“Ask Max” is a regular feature of C+RB’s monthly Membership + Marketing column, where Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., answers questions sent in by readers.
(Have a question you want to “Ask Max”? Send it to [email protected])
The Club at Mediterra is a Distinguished Elite, Platinum Club inside the community of Mediterra, which has been named Community of the Year in Naples 12 times in 16 years.
Max is a veteran hospitality leader with a 15-year hotel career followed by an almost 20-year club career, the last 13 at Mediterra. Max is a proud member of the Membership Directors Association of Southwest Florida, whose program for exchanging ideas and information is unmatched.
Max’s passion is being helpful, so… let’s “Ask Max”!
How do I determine my “brand”?
Dear Identity Crisis,
Obviously, branding starts with your club’s culture. Are you family-friendly? Are you traditional and conservative? Are your members retired? What are the main reasons members come to your club?
You must be able to answer certain questions first, and from those answers create your Vision, Mission, and Culture statements. Get everyone involved in the exercise, including the Board and the staff, and be truthful. It won’t serve you to brand yourself based on who you wish you were. It’s important that your answers are reflective and accurate.
If you say you are family-friendly, for example, is that because you want to be, but in the meantime, only twelve members have kids? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be something you haven’t quite become—if that’s the case, create a strategic plan to become that brand, and then “re-brand.”
Once you’ve established what’s right for your club, branding is also telling everyone who you are. You can do that with a color palette, fonts, and style guides, for example, to make sure that everything you communicate internally and externally has a similar look and feel that reflects your club’s identity.
Nice to know you,