Are You Ready to Live the NEW Chamber Brand?

Dave Kilby

We’re excited that the Association’s long-awaited “The Chamber Is” advertising and messaging program has been launched.

Now the real work begins. We can’t just “talk the talk.” We also need to “walk the walk.” For many, this will mean that chamber leaders will need to learn to embrace change, if we’re REALLY going to be a 3C chamber—a Catalyst for business growth, a Convener of leaders and influencers to get things done, and a Champion for a thriving community.

Are you ready to change and maybe even re-invent your chamber?

“The Chamber is” ad program is designed to help tell the story of today’s chamber of commerce, an organization that isn’t “old and stodgy” and, instead, if it plays its cards right, can be more relevant than ever before.


My favorite of the 10 ads in the campaign is the one on Courage: “We stand up for what we believe in and we are willing to fight for what’s right, so our businesses can grow and our community can thrive.

This message, when coupled with the other ads from the campaign, can help project a VERY different image for your organization…but remember…you need to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Which path will your chamber take? Will you stay the course that’s dominated by ribbon cuttings, mixers, festivals and monthly luncheons?

Or will you go down the “road less traveled” that is often full of controversy, confrontation and VERY heavy issues that deserve bold, catalytic leadership from the business leaders in your chamber?

When gathering input for my book, Chamber Champions, one of the questions I asked was: “What holds a chamber back from soaring to success?” The answers seemed to all be on the same track and included a lack of courage (fear), leadership and not being willing to risk and change.

Survival of the Fittest

The years ahead for chambers of commerce could end up being “survival of the fittest,” with some chambers thriving while others, often located right “next door” might be barely holding on or could possibly even fade away.

A question I like to ask chamber leaders is “What do you want to be known for?”

The choice, and it’s an important one, is yours and we hope you will seriously consider going down the road less traveled and doing what it takes to be a 3C chamber.

Dave Kilby is the president and CEO of W.A.C.E., and executive vice president of corporate affairs at the California Chamber.