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Old 12-18-2005, 04:27 PM   #1
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Letter to WBCCI on name change

Kimber wrote the following to Roy Bernd, Trustee Member, first VP of Region 10 and Logo Selection committee member. She wrote this after looking through the Blue Beret and seeing a contact name and email address for feedback on the topic.


(please forward this e-mail to whomever it concerns)




Roy,


You might find this link of interest with respect to the WBCCI proposed new name and logo.


http://www.airforums.com/forum...ogo-19605.html




Please, on behalf of our membership, and continued membership in the WBCCI, the Sierra Nevada Unit and the VAC, our request is that you DON'T change the name or logo. It's not broken. It's beautiful, full of life and honorable.


CHANGE the manner of operations and work towards appealing better to existing members and potential new members. Listen to your membership voices and learn about the new dynamic of current A/S purchasers and vintage rig purchasers.


You might find it possible to harness a large number of volunteers to bring about change and increased membership with a plan as simple as the creation of a new 'tag line,' and focus for the WBCCI. Breath life into the organization.


I've been in the advertising, public relations and graphic design business for 20 years and most groups and businesses who change names and identities as drastically as your proposed plan is, fail! Look at Coke for instance. New Coke failed horribly -- even with millions of dollars to implement the new plan. The bad press did little for their numbers. They had to revert to the old Coke and worked very hard to gain back their original consumer base.


History weighs heavy on the consumer and member. People like to buy-in on something historic, but with a modern twist. If you change things drastically as your proposal, the membership is likely to think that something is really broken, which could bring about the question... 'do I really want to be a part of this?'


The Girl Scouts of America recently re-invented itself with a new tag line "Where Girls Grow Strong." They found that the old focus of the woman as 'homemaker' was hurting them and the 'strong' path of the new career-minded woman was programs such as sports, science, business and government with a side of surfing, rock climbing, kayaking and other outdoor/adventure activities that the new 'girls' were interested in. This along with a few basic operational changes and some new marketing ideas did wonders for their membership numbers.


My guess is that if the identity change goes through that the club numbers will fall even lower.


I don't think that new members and existing members are having trouble with the name and identity, however, it is the operation and focus of the club that is lacking.


Thank you for your consideration,


Kimber Moore & Timothy Kendziorski
WBCCI #17330 (resurrected!)
Sierra Nevada Unit
VAC
Forum member aka Buttercup
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:29 PM   #2
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I think that is a very good letter. I am trying to find out who else we could write to and let our feelings be heard about this.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:33 PM   #3
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Form Letter

Perhaps a form letter that people could sign and send in would be of some benefit.
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Old 12-18-2005, 08:36 PM   #4
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I don't think form letters would get the point across as well as a short written letter. It doesn't have to say a lot, just how you feel about the name change.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:25 PM   #5
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I think that was a great letter. Coke changed it's taste and it backfired...well put.
The girl scouts changed they're target image/audiance and it made a difference in membership...again a great point but the name of the orgainization was never in question.
How do we combine the two without changing the name or flavor of the cookies to target whomever it is we are trying to target? Again....good letter
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:09 PM   #6
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letter to WBCCI on name change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
I don't think form letters would get the point across as well as a short written letter. It doesn't have to say a lot, just how you feel about the name change.
There is both pro and con on the name change issue. A vote was held. It's a done deal. Are we trying to revote it here?
Many members feel there other areas as well that we could focus on to gain wider appeal and thus entice new ( and younger ) AS owners to join the club. Why not work (and vote) from within? This forum is'nt a WBCCI venue.
Wally was'nt universily admired . Many likened him to a selfserving buffoon. Some felt like " stuffing" his bullhorn. The WB club name is silly. The logo featuring Wally in his beret is silly. Is this a positive image? Is this likely to attract new members, or possibly maybe dissuade them?
I'm surprised so many of the Forum are willing to worship at the WB alter. Put him in his proper historical perspective and move on into the 21st century.
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:37 PM   #7
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Wally might not have been perfect, but he really did get this whole thing going, and the club became popular because of his guiding spirit. I think that where the club has lost members now is more because they've lost their way. When I look back to what vintage caravans and rallys were, it sounds like fun and adventure. That's what the club needs to get back to. That seems to be what many people are asking for.
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:53 PM   #8
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Very well said Steph. What has to go is the beret like dennis said or alluded to . It can always be a symbol but I feel it is holding things up. Long live it but even the beatles eventually cut their hair.
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:12 AM   #9
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I think the important part is that if people are unhappy with the name change, or even if they are happy with it, it's their club. They are paying thier dues, and they have a right to have thier voices heard. So I think it's only fair that for such an important decision, the people making the decisions should be open to public comment. I have a feeling they probably are, but I have no idea who they are or where I could send my comments to.

That's probably just another point where the club could do a better job - making the way the club runs more obvious to the members. Seems there are an awful lot of members on here who don't really understand how the club works, or who's really behind running it and making the big decisions.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:00 AM   #10
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Another letter from a recognized long standing member

Since the subject is letters to WBCCI on name change, here is another perspective.
Please read below:

"WBCCI Organizational Survey Thoughts

In the February issue of the Blue Beret there was a WBCCI Organizational Survey to be filled out and returned by March 10, 2004. What follows are personal comments and thoughts generated by that document:

Although I have been a member for over 20 years, I have never been on a Caravan. The first 15 years I was working, the last 5 years retired. During most of those 20 years I paid dues to a caravan club that did very little for me. I paid them happily because it was part of the cost of being a member of the local unit that was very active and held rallies every month except July and August. I liked associating with people who were out doing exciting things and travel was something I enjoyed. Did you hear that! The international officers and organization as well as the caravan aspects are not as important as a dynamic local club with fascinating people. When I received the Blue Beret during the first 15 years or so I would read “By George” for technical ideas and the Classifieds to see if anyone was selling a trailer I might be interested in. That was it!
Since we are trying to attract people who are working, the By Laws, the Blue Book, the WBCCI and the Blue Beret need substantive change so the revised and invigorated club will attract them. So far only the Blue Beret has begun to refocus with more articles of interest to people still working. These people are an impatient lot. I used to call them the microwave generation because they wanted results in two minutes. I now realize the newest generation should be called the mouse-click generation. They want communication and results instantaneously. An organization that produces a Membership Directory listing every numbered caravan each member has ever been on, but not listing email addresses or phone numbers is not worth considering. Please read that last sentence again, slowly. I know of a working member who currently owns his third used Airstream in a two-year period, having bought and traded twice. Another purchased a used Airstream motorhome on the Internet on eBay in an auction process from five states distant, having only seen emailed pictures. These people will make it happen if we can attract and retain them as members.
In regard to a change in the club name, I do think we need Airstream in the name, but we need to get rid of Caravan Club, International, and maybe even Wally Byam . The excellent 4” by 9” center pullout in the February Blue Beret is designed to attract new members and even includes our Web address. There was the answer on the front cover under the WBCCI International logo:

The Airstream RV Association

Great!! That is what the changed organization should be called. I suspect it was put there as a footnote because the WBCCI logo does not help the uninitiated understand what we are about. I am sure Good Sam and Family Motor Coach Association have both founders and international members, but that is not the thrust of their name.
In regard to the level of ceremony in the international club, whether the treasurer is elected or appointed, when the International Rally is scheduled, and whether dogs and generators should be controlled are of little consequence. I have heard this response: ‘Who cares? I just want to camp with friendly, interesting folks.’ Did you hear that? Most working members can’t get to an international rally since they do not have the luxury of that much time off. The reality is that most retired members don’t go either.
At the unit level the region officer comes yearly in a red coat and installs the new unit officers for next year. Our unit officers do not wear the blue berets to these formal occasions. This break with tradition comes from a unit that scored over 5800 points in last year’s Unit Merit Award Program, where over 3000 points rated a Superior Merit Award. Does your unit email its newsletter? Do you have member digital photographs for the annual unit directory? Is there a web site with monthly updates? Some how these things should be the focus of our attention.
Should we expand member qualifications beyond Airstream ownership to include any brand made by Thor industries? This is not worthy of consideration unless we want to change our name to the Good Sam Club.


The organizational survey is a healthy sign. It implies that those in responsible positions realize that we must be more responsive to the mission of travel and unit rallies. Unfortunately they have to make painfully slow change from within, such as voting to amend the constitution. Will this change be fast enough and responsive enough to attract new working members? It will require unprecedented vision and leadership from the top, not a filtering of survey results through committees committed to the status quo. Did you hear that?
The club is multidimensional including local unit rallies as well as caravans. We need to focus more attention on the local units, rename the club, and get the constitution and by laws to reflect this expanded focus. Otherwise the future of the club will follow the declining membership trend we have been seeing.

Fred Ettline, WBCCI # 27910"
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:25 PM   #11
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Response from Mr. Bernd

For the benefit of the forum readers I am posting Roy's response to our letter. I will add that I am not really satisfied with the answer...


Thank you for your comments. I point out, however, that the membership voted to at least insert Airstream in our name by a 5 to 1 majority.

Are you speaking for the entire VAC or just yourselves? My sensing from the forum survey conducted last August, which was almost entirely VAC members, was a desire to do away with Wally Byam in the name. (So I did) I included the survey results and comments from the survey in the study which has been forwarded to the Board of Trustees. They will vote on the change on 13 January.

Yours is the only "anti" change I, or other committee members, have received. Matter of fact, another 2 other long time Advertising/Public Relation types have strongly endorsed the change of name and logo.

I haven't read the Forum in a month or so. What I see this morning is about
50-50 on the change. I made a posting.


Sincerely,
R.B. Bernd
1st VP, Region 10
WBCCI




I will also note that the response is not near "50/50" as Roy states but more like 65/35 as of this posting.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:53 PM   #12
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Response

Here is our reply to Roy's response


Roy,



I have a few questions on this based on your response.

When and where did this vote take place? What was voted on exactly? When you say that they voted to “at least insert Airstream in the name”, does that mean that the voting had several options/questions to respond to? For those of us who did not have the ability to vote, are the items that were voted on and percent of respondent results published so that I, as a member, can see what the results were.

Which forum survey are you talking about? Do you have a link to the survey or a location of published information as to the results of that survey?

Can you describe the qualifications and professional credentials of the other 2 people who endorse the change? Have they been retained by WBCCI in any professional capacity to guide the leadership when taking on this change in identity? Have the endorsements been published so that the membership can read the endorsements? An “endorsement” suggests that professional acceptance has been given in some capacity or another.

Has a market analysis been done on the impact of changing the complete identity of WBCCI? If so, who performed that research and are the results of that research published anywhere. It would be of some comfort to know that the long history of this organization is not being changed wantonly and without forethought.

In the design of the new logo, has WBCCI retained any sort of design firm to take on this task to ensure a logo and identity are produced which properly represents the membership of the WBCCI or has it been done “in house”. I would be concerned that the history and groundwork built by the WBCCI has been lost in selecting a new logo and identity that completely denies our history.

I am writing to you representing only myself and my husband, as I stated in my letter. My husband and I are members of both WBCCI and the VAC.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:32 PM   #13
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Well, as I've heard it, Wally had a lot of 'Personality', if you get my drift. Obviously rubbed some people the wrong way. But still, he was the marketing genius behind the trailer and the club (which itself was a marketing move to show how rugged the trailers were). The factory acknowledges his contribution in the new Airstream = Performance video. Why should the club turn their back on him completely?
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Well, as I've heard it, Wally had a lot of 'Personality', if you get my drift. Obviously rubbed some people the wrong way. But still, he was the marketing genius behind the trailer and the club (which itself was a marketing move to show how rugged the trailers were). The factory acknowledges his contribution in the new Airstream = Performance video. Why should the club turn their back on him completely?
Bingo!
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