The St. Joseph County Chamber is now the South Bend Regional Chamber.
If you want to be found, you first need to be found on a map. That was a problem for the St. Joseph County Chamber. If we are doing our job in connecting with people and businesses to get them to relocate here, we cannot cling to a name that is not readily found on a map.
The Chamber enlisted the help of Mishawaka-based Big Idea Company who conducted several behavioral studies that measured the actual interest of names across the country and the world using Google search data to plot the real-world interest index.
South Bend, Mishawaka, Michiana and St. Joseph County were all tested. St. Joseph County performed far worse than the fictitious term known as Michiana, and Michiana is only known to those within a 35-mile radius of downtown South Bend or downtown Mishawaka. This was bad news for the Chamber, especially in this digital age.
When we looked at the data for our area, the name by far that most people from around the globe search, specifically for information on the University of Notre Dame is South Bend. The name demonstrates more significant pull as a lead-generating source for this region than any other name on the map. That’s why we have changed our name to the South Bend Regional Chamber. This is the name more people know, more people search for. The data was clear.
While our name has changed, our efforts have not. A decade ago, this Chamber made a commitment to focus on transformative work that impacts the greater community. At no other time have we been more prepared to take this bold step than now. More than ever, we’re seeing business, government and education working collaboratively across invisible borders to create a global brand that can compete in today’s economy. Population is growing, employment is at its highest level in decades and the area has seen nearly $800 million in capital investment over the past two years.
The momentum is palpable. We’re seizing the opportunity. In a globally connected economy, status quo isn’t good enough. Changing our name positions us better in recruiting new businesses and people to locate to the area. That means more jobs and a healthy economy for all.
The new name also better reflects the work we are doing with our collaborative partners where a regional perspective is warranted. We are partners in Regional Cities Initiative efforts, Michiana Partnership, Northern Indiana Chamber Coalition, Region 2 Advanced Manufacturing Partnership to name a few. We will continue to work with our partners at the cities, other chambers of commerce and other local business associations to create a climate for growth for our community.
In the next month, we will be providing member businesses with new Member Investor plaque inserts and window decals. With our name change, please note our new logo and web address: sbrchamber.com. If you would like our new logo or virtual plaque for your website, email firstname.lastname@example.org.