Membership status change bolsters strength and purpose
BY LISA BOYLAN / JUL 28, 2020
In an unpredictable and shifting landscape, the Fragrance Creators Association changed its associate members to active members to create a stronger, more unified community to better respond to extraordinary global challenges.
The Fragrance Creators Association recently announced that it is elevating its finished-product manufacturers from associate to active members in a move aimed at giving members better ways to break down silos, share ideas and points of view, and create a safe place to engage on topics that advance collaboration and innovation, according to Farah K. Ahmed, Fragrance Creators president and CEO.
The decision to change its membership model was driven by an understanding that for Fragrance Creators to achieve its mission, all participants in the fragrance value chain need to work together, Ahmed said. The association reaffirmed a commitment to “listening, respecting, and engaging all stakeholders,” she added.
Previously, as associate members, finished-goods manufacturers (makers of products that use fragrance ingredients) collaborated with fragrance manufacturer members to support state and federal advocacy efforts and on key projects such as FCA’s consumer education website, The Fragrance Conservatory. The pandemic heightened the need for collaboration, as fragrance creators and finished-product manufacturers worked together to share ideas and keep critical cleaning and disinfecting products accessible across the country.
WHAT WILL THE CHANGE ACCOMPLISH?
“This change will benefit all Fragrance Creator members. It will support a greater diversity of perspectives—not only on a project basis, but in the overall strategic thinking of the organization,” Ahmed said. Elevating finished-product manufacturers to active status, she said, will help the association increase its influence with key stakeholders, legislators, the Congressional Fragrance Caucus, nongovernmental organizations, retailers, and allied trade associations.
The new active status of the finished-product manufacturers provides the advantage of a broader perspective, which, Ahmed said, will help increase awareness and appreciation for fragrance and promote better understanding of the industry’s safety programs.
That kind of wider industry perspective can bring new vitality and impact to many associations, Ahmed noted, although achieving it can be challenging.
“My advice is to work simultaneously with all levels of membership—board, executive, and technical—to ensure all parties have clarity on the purpose of the association (i.e., serving the industry as a whole) and its mission, and understand that a pivot is a change in strategy, not a change in the mission,” she said.
A trade association’s relationship with its membership is built on mutual respect, trust, and leadership, Ahmed said, and is strengthened by a shared understanding of purpose. “We strive to elevate that common purpose, instill a culture that promotes consensus building, and strengthen teamwork among the members, so that when great challenges arise, industry can come together to meet the moment and be a force for good.”