Directors mull chamber branding

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning, Peninsula Chamber directors gathered to review their year-old strategic plan. At the 2010 strategic planning session directors agreed on an over-arching strategy: the chamber itself must succeed as a business if it is to effectively support the business community. At this year’s session, directors agreed that this remains a primary goal.

The discussion then veered into the area of branding, and directors asked “What is the chamber’s brand?”

According to Wikipedia, “Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors, etc.” So, what is the personality of the Peninsula Chamber?

Chambers of commerce have existed for more than 400 years, first in Europe and since then, around the globe. Wherever they are established, their main business comprises support for the business community, and that can take a variety of forms. In Germany, chambers of commerce are considered foundational to business success, and every business, in every community, must belong to its local chamber. In setting this requirement, the German government has branded the chamber. The strength of German chambers of commerce is a key ingredient in the country’s healthy economy.

Last week, I attended a chamber of commerce business excellence awards dinner in another community.  The chamber president had a strong marketing background. He spoke about the chamber of commerce brand, saying that the chamber in his community is branded by the events it hosts, by the networking and promotional opportunities it offers, by the cost-saving benefits it offers to members, and by the educational opportunities it offers — so simple.

The Peninsula Chamber does all that too — and we are “the voice of business”. Can that big personality be distilled into a few words — an elevator speech — for a quick response to the question “Why should I join the chamber?” Chamber directors will answer that question when they convene for a branding session in the months ahead.

Let’s Get Daffy!

The Peninsula Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be a sponsor of the region’s first Daffodil Festival. Organized by Vantreight Farms, the festival was to have kicked off the growing season on March 12, but unseasonably cold weather has kept the daffs from blooming.

The kick-off event has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the parking lot behind Fresh Cup Café on Mt. Newton X Rd. There’ll be plenty of fresh daffodils for sale and on display, farm tractors, face painting, games, and for the first time, a u-pick field of daffodils adjacent to the Vantreight Farm Market at 8370 East Saanich Road. Bring the whole family and tell your friends about this exciting event.

The festival spotlights the Peninsula as the Daffodil Capital of Canada and provides a promotional opportunity for area farms. Businesses are encouraged to keep celebrating throughout the week of March 27 to April 2 by participating in the daffodil theme with window and countertop displays, daffodils on restaurant tables and perhaps on the pillows at local accommodations.


Eileen Leddy is the executive director of the Peninsula Chamber. Contact her at