June, 2003
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



ASHI Branding Update

ROB PATERKIEWICZ, CAE, IOM

After more than a quarter of a  century of progress, your Society remains committed to providing you with a competitive edge, and your customers with the promise of excellence and value.

Recently, increased competition in the marketplace and growing state legislation forced us to ask ourselves if technical expertise and experience would continue to be enough to meet this commitment. It became apparent that we would have to do more than rest on our well-deserved reputation if we wanted to offer you a way to significantly differentiate yourself from others working in our field. Since the exciting kick-off of the branding effort last year, we’ve been reporting on the Society’s progress toward meeting current challenges and we have actively collected your input to ensure it meets your needs as well.

Survey response leads to smart decisions

Posed-group.gifIn April, the Board of Directors, members of the Public Relations Committee, Staff Directors and Board guests spent more than 10 hours working with our consultant team on the next phase of the ASHI Brand. We relied on responses from the online survey to help us make smart decisions. We are fortunate to have had input from over 1,000 of you. Points were challenged and discussed in detail as the participants looked deeply into the thoughts and concerns of our Membership.

While we are well aware of the possible threat to ASHI’s leadership in the profession, we also recognized the strength of having more experience and authority than any other home inspection organization. There was a feeling in the room that branding offered an opportunity to leverage the work done over the past 27 years to ensure a prosperous future for the organization and the membership.

The current snapshot: Leveraging the past for future prosperity

Recognizing the strength of ASHI Members’ technical qualifications, we agreed that the brand would be a blend of both the highly technical aspects of a professional inspection and the high-level business aspects of working with a professional inspector. We are targeting both full Members and Candidates with Logo use privileges to be eligible to participate in the program following some additional training and instruction.

We have a wealth of information from a variety of resources to help us as we move forward in the branding process. Our branding team has driven projects like this for some of the most well known brands in the world. Our collective view teaches us that the consumer marketplace today requires excellence of service and an enhanced experience to inspire loyalty and commitment. Consumers tell us that a technically superior, professional, and objective home inspector helps them make smarter decisions and contributes to their peace of mind.

The next steps

We will continue to collect information as we move forward. ASHI chapters are being asked to help us identify best-practices for promoting business by sharing what has worked in their areas. We’ll also be sharing more with you, and because this is first and foremost an approach to business, we will be presenting a Return On Investment (ROI) scenario outlining how this effort translates to you receiving real value from the Brand. We feel confident that the ROI will generate widespread support from our membership.

Between now and the July Board meeting there is much work to be done. The Board has created a smaller task-force to represent them between meetings. The task force will begin working on the strategic plan to implement new brand elements, developing the external marketing and public relations aspects telling all of our stakeholders about the brand. Our Public Relations Committee is finalizing the internal communication program to partner with you and foster your participation. The Finance Committee is meeting at the same time to address the expected funding elements that this program will require in order to be successful.

As we move ahead with deliberate speed, we’ll be sharing the exciting developments with you every step of the way.