Dear Co-op Members,
Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending my first Co-op Annual Meeting, a yearly event that brings cooperators together to look back at the previous year and to talk about the year(s) to come. It was April 1—April Fool’s Day, of course—and fate pulled a joke on all of us with a huge spring snowstorm. Even on a snowy Saturday afternoon the room was packed, brimming with engaged, passionate Co-op members and staff. The entire experience was positive, courteous, and productive—everything a meeting should be. It exemplified a spirit of synergy and cooperation.
One of my favorite things about the meeting was to hear everything people say about our Co-op. Collectively, our staff, members, board, and shoppers have built an organization with a great reputation in this community. When people get the chance to say whatever they want to about our Co-op, they aren’t shy. Word of mouth is some of the best marketing we have.
I’d invite you to contemplate the phrase “endorsement marketing.” What does it mean? To quote Brad Porteus, former Marketing VP for Yelp, the online review giant, “Endorsement marketing is literally the idea of getting the word out about your product or service by letting other people gush about your stuff instead of you.” … or just comment, talk, think, and engage.
How do many companies do this? They pay for it. How do we do it at our Co-op? We work hard, we take care of people, we serve our communities, and then we let who we are and what we do speak for itself. The more authentic we are, the more true to ourselves, the more we engage with other members and shoppers and each other, the more effective we can be together.
My thanks to all of you for making our Co-op a business that’s well worth endorsing. And a special thanks to all you who braved a snowy Saturday afternoon to attend out Annual Meeting. I look forward to the meeting next year. In the meantime, if you have ideas, thoughts, or questions, as always I’d love to hear from you. Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open.