Looking back while moving forward

Everyone likes to be told they look good for their age. When you reach a milestone as great as 100 years, you really appreciate the compliment. Things sink in after a century – you start to look back at how you carried yourself and adapted to the ever-changing times around you. But at what point does it really hit when you ask, What is it that I’m known for?

The American Legion Auxiliary officially turns 100 on Nov. 10. Since our founding, ALA programs, initiatives, and events have come and gone, but there are constants.

There’s a fancy term in the marketing world called a “unique selling proposition.” It’s basically the thing that differentiates your product or service from others. Geico says “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance.” M&Ms will tell you “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

But what can we say is the American Legion Auxiliary’s unique selling proposition?

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YEARS AGO: Hundreds of National Headquarters visitors have signed our guest book over the years. Read about the ALA’s centennial in this special issue of Auxiliary.

What does our legacy consist of? Is it concentrated to one area – like veterans, for example? Does it encompass much more than that?

What should members promote to people unfamiliar with our organization?

As we market the American Legion Auxiliary moving forward in the next century, what can we say is our chief selling point?

A number of veteran support organizations exist nationwide. The American Legion Auxiliary just happens to be one of the biggest and oldest. Our resources may be decreasing in the form of losing members every year – it’s a tough fact – but there are ways to fix that! This is where we have to ask ourselves: What makes the ALA special?

In some ways, the ALA is in direct competition with other veteran and military support organizations. If we start conditioning ourselves to think like salespeople, we can earn a “commission” in the form of new members. Take the new eligibility change, for example: Membership in the American Legion Auxiliary is now open to spouses of U.S. veterans and servicemembers. That means men can join our wonderful organization! Combine this revolutionary change with the LEGION Act, and our potential membership pool is greatly increased.

People who want to help our mission are out there. We just need to figure out how to market ourselves to them.

Tell us how you would promote the ALA to potential members: Contact us at ALAMagazine@ALAforVeterans.org or 3450 Founders Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

 

This article was first published in the November 2019 Auxiliary magazine. 

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