Corporate repositioning of the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Organisations operate in business environments that are constantly changing, largely due to changes in the economic, social, political and technological landscape. To strategically respond to these changing circumstances, an organisation must review its corporate strategy, and chart a new path to success. This is achieved by repositioning the organisation within new and dynamic environments. Amongst the various models available to reposition an organisation, the Four Ps of the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) provide a simple solution in developing strategic tactics to respond to turbulent environments. The aim of this study was to determine how the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) could use the tools in the marketing mix to reposition the organisation. A sample of 346 members of the DCCI was drawn from a population of 2,800 members. An internet based questionnaire developed by the researcher was used to collect data. The data collected was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and relationships were revealed. Some of the salient findings indicated that members who did not obtain value for money highlighted that this was due to there being no tangible benefits to membership, while a large proportion of these members were not aware of the available services on offer by the DCCI. The majority of members indicated that they did not visit the DCCI offices and cited the parking constraints at the DCCI offices as the main reason. The DCCI website was not viewed by the majority of members and the daily electronic newsletter was read infrequently. Those members who were not satisfied with the DCCI indicated that this was due to insufficient business information being provided to them and insufficient lobbying and advocacy activities of the DCCI. It is recommended that tangible benefits be created for members, including the provision of a member loyalty discount program and a business linkage program. A significant limitation encountered in this study was the dearth of academic literature and research relating to chambers of commerce generally. The empirical findings provide a useful starting point for recommendations from which further research may be undertaken, so that ultimately all chambers of commerce can strategically reposition themselves in industry, reinforce their significant influence and continue to advocate as the collective voice of business, in order to develop the economies they operate in.
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