Communication

Gain Sales and Impact from Great Storytelling

Local food is a powerful branding force in grocery retailing. The huge shift in mainstream consumer demand regarding fresh, healthful eating and a desire to know where food comes from has changed how food is marketed and merchandised. Concurrent with the rise of “local” food, online retailing has changed how [...]

Telling the Story of Local and Fresh

Moscow Food Co-op Moscow, Idaho Year founded: 1973 Member investment: $150 Number of members: 7,800 Number of employees: 120 Locations: retail store + coffee shop For a long time, the Moscow Food Co-op had dreamed of “telling beautiful stories” about the co-op. They made the investment in 2015 to launch [...]

Introducing Your Co-op to New Communities

Business introductions are a networking staple—and they run the gamut from the ho-hum ‘We are here to sell you something’ to the dynamic, ‘We love to support communities and make a difference in people’s lives.’ As co-ops continue to seek out ways to innovate, offer more goods and services, and [...]

Using Storytelling Techniques for Owner Linkage

Flatbush Food Co-op Brooklyn, New York Year founded: 1976 Number of members: 3,500 Member investment: $200 Number of employees: 70 Retail square footage: 8,000 The Flatbush Food Co-op has been in business as a trusted institution in Brooklyn since the 1970s, yet given the increasing competition, and with expansion a [...]

Telling the Board Story Through the Co-op Marketing Department

By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly [...]

Communicating Co-op Impact to Staff, Members and Community

Hunger Mountain Co-op Montpelier, VT Year founded:  1972 Number of members:  8,300 Member investment:  $180 Number of staff:  165 Retail square feet:  12,000 Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier, VT has created a system of planning and reporting that has led to their ability to communicate the co-op’s impact on the [...]

Board Communication: Using the Board’s Unique Perspective to Increase Owner Engagement and Participation

There’s commonly a remarkable diversity among how the members of a co-op’s board of directors and how co-op staff see and understand the co-op. And the perception of the myriad owner members are as distinct and individual as the members themselves.  And yet each group is holding a unique piece [...]

Personalities and Performance: Appreciating Differences with Help from Myers-Briggs Assessments

By Joel Kopischke #187 Nov.-Dec 2016 There is no shortage of stressors for people involved in co-ops today. With challenging economic and political conditions added to the hustle and bustle of modern life, topped off with a seeming deterioration of interpersonal communication and growing polarization of personal beliefs, it’s more [...]

Two Sides of Accountability

By Sarah Dahl #187 Nov.-Dec 2016 Except perhaps for the lucky few of them still enjoying double-digit growth and staff satisfaction with wages, most co-ops are constrained by limited personnel dollars. One of the ways to make sure that you are getting what you pay for is to ensure consistent [...]

A Board’s Quick Guide to Communicating Decisions to Owners

As competition makes the reality of executing difficult or complex business decisions more common, it's important that boards be ready to address situations when owners are concerned or disagree with decisions the board has made or overseen on behalf of the co-op. The power of democratic ownership comes from understanding [...]