Here are some of the advantages of successful branding.
- Branding influences buying decisions.
- Branding creates new customers
- Branding creates loyalty.
- Branding gives you a competitive advantage.
- Branding helps grow your business.
If you want to learn more about branding, Dr. Misner recommends the book Do You Matter?
How can branding build your chapter? BNI is unique among other organizations, but without a consistent visual identity, we didn’t have the visibility and recognizability of a really great brand.
Now individual members and chapters can download BNI logos and other artwork from BNIBranding.com to use on their websites and display publicly to proclaim their BNI membership.
If you want to know why it’s so important to use these official logos, imagine what it would be like if you had 40,000 clients and they all wanted to create their own versions of your logo.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 254 -
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you and where are you?
Hi Priscilla. This week, I am in Spokane and Portland visiting BNI members in those two areas. It’s going to be great to meet a lot of new members. As you can tell, I have been doing a lot of traveling this year and having the chance to meet a lot of BNI members.
Who do you have on the podcast with us today?
Today I have a special guest, Morgan Rothwell. Morgan is the co-owner of D & M Creative Ltd. It is a full service marketing and advertising design firm. Typical projects that they do include corporate identities, brochures, websites- that kind of thing. Morgan attends the University of Manchester. He is an assistant BNI director in BNI Lancashire. He is the person responsible for the new branding. He is the person that the organization selected to do the new branded look.
If you have been a member of BNI for a few years, you may have noticed that all of our content visually has changed. He is the man behind all of that. We are real believers in using BNI members whenever possible with everything we do. Morgan was the person we chose to do the new BNI brand.
Morgan, welcome to the podcast and let me start by saying thank you for all the work that you do to create the new brand.
Thank you very much, Ivan. I appreciate it. Thank you for the opportunity to do the work.
It’s been fun working with you. You are going to talk about three things today. Benefits of branding to a business- why branding is important. You are going to talk about how strong branding builds BNI chapters. Then we are going to spend most of our time talking about a new website that is available to members, BNIbranding.com.
With that, Morgan, why don’t you get started and talk briefly about the benefits of branding to any business, whether it is BNI or whatever the individual members do and why that is important.
Thank you very much, Ivan. I think one of the key things that I would like to say first of all about branding is that branding creates emotional responses. What branding can do for a business is actually influence the decisions that people make when they are deciding whether or not to purchase from one supplier or another supplier. One of the other key aspects is that it creates loyalty. So branding can create not just a customer that will just buy once but repeat customers. It can also create customers who refer customers to businesses. Those are some key aspects of branding.
Along with that is that it gives competitive advantage. You can look at some of the figures from around the world. If you take the world’s largest brand, which is Apple at the moment, if you think of the people who use Apple products, quite often they have very emotional attachments to those products. For example, with a mobile phone they will call it an iPhone as opposed to just a mobile phone.
Very often, once companies get a strong brand, you will see that people get very strongly attached to those brands. There are all kinds of influences it can show on the course of an organization. It can create great impression. One of the aspects I think it is important to discuss early on in the podcast is the actually new branding force that we have helped develop with BNI back in 2010. The fact that BNI provides local businesses with a global network- the new BNI branding allows localization right down to the chapter level.
I mentioned right from the start that Apple has a massive brand presence and massive emotional attachment. Branding at a local level for a micro business within a 50-mile radius is just as important for that business as it is for Apple because within that 50 mile radius, it’s important that the people who are potential customers understand the real brand force that is behind that particular business.
So just to underline the key benefits of branding to a business, talking generally to chapter members of their own businesses, I have to say that it can really influence the decisions of your customers, it can create new customers. It can create loyalty and ultimately, it can help grow your business.
Let me just jump in real quick before you go to the next subject. There is a book I recommend BNI members to read. It is called Do You Matter? By Stewart Emory. Stewart is a great friend of mine and of BNI’s. He talks about the great Apple brand. The other thing is that branding begins, I think, with a visual look. That is a large piece of the work that you have done, the visual look. How does that help building chapters, which is your second topic. How do you build strong chapters with the brand and visual look that we have created?
I think one of the things that I can reflect on how we can build chapters goes back to when my business partner and myself started the business around 10 years ago. We were looking for a networking event. At the time, there were so few networking events around. It was a quite a limited choice, and the obvious choice, we felt, was BNI. But now, in our market, I can think of more than10 networking events every single week within a 10 mile radius of our offices.
So to start with, there is a lot of competition now for what people perceive as being networking or what they perceive as being business referral organizations. Now, BNI is absolutely unique within marketplace because of the agenda, because of the focus on business referrals. The branding can really help underpin this because strong branding within the chapters and use in the materials will attract good quality members because they will see that this is a quality organization.
On top of that, the brand philosophy as I mentioned toward the start, talking about the local businesses within the global network, that’s reflected across all the branding. So while it can be localized to the chapter level, people that visit the groups, new members and existing members understand that it’s linked in to a much bigger organization. That gives people confidence and credibility. It gives BNI credibility as it runs in the local market.
Recognizability is also important. We need to jump to the third topic, but I just want to say that recognizability- because before we implemented the design that you helped develop, I could get on the internet and go to 10 different websites and see no consistency in the logo. No consistency. So the public would look at 10 different websites and have no idea it was the same company. Today, we are moving in the direction of having the same visual look all around the world, which any good brand should always have. That is one of the big key points for a successful chapter, to have the same visual look as other BNI chapters so it makes it easy for people to recognize the BNI brand. You agree, I’m sure- yes?
Absolutely 100% agree. That leads into the third topic, which is one of the key points that we wanted to talk about.
We’ve got about three or four minutes. So let’s talk about BNIbranding.com because this is where the rubber meets the road for the local BNI member use BNIbranding.com?
I think one of the first things I’d say about BNIbranding.com is if a member, if one of the leadership team of the chapters is at BNIbranding.com, one of the key things that they will see on that if they click on one of they key sections, which is Official Logos, we’ve got an array of logos in formats that are very useable for social media. We have a section on there that people can download a logo that is specifically made for social media. We have the guidelines on it as well so that it will be implemented properly.
One of the other things that we have member artwork. For a long time, people have been asking for some sort of emblem that they can use on their websites, business cards, vehicles- that show their membership that they are proud of. So on BNIbranding.com, under the Official Logos, you can see quite clearly the “Proud Member” logo and also the guidelines. Again, that will help them promote the BNI name.
There are also a number of resources on there. For example, if chapter members go to the Chapter Resource section, they can access the branding standards and guidelines so every single chapter member and very single director can have on their file on their computer because this is the real guide for how to use BNI branding. It’s available. The chapter actually has a resource and access to resource. For example, if there is a chapter business card, if they would like some material to promote their chapter, it’s good quality. It meets all the guidelines. They can actually access it through this website.
It’s a fantastic opportunity, not only to get material that is approved and we know that it’s good quality material. But it’s a good opportunity for them to download materials that have been tried and tested around the world and that we know will help to grow their chapters. There are some great materials on there to access.
You mentioned about the logo, Ivan, and recognizability and the fact that it needs to be consistent. We know that the logos on this website are absolutely 100% easy to use. Chapters will ensure they are using the right material. It’s a great resource to visit and it’s a great resource to download materials. If chapters are looking to grow and promote themselves within the area, they are really looking to make themselves stand out against the local competition.
Let me just jump in because we are about out of time. I want to put this in perspective for the average member listening to this because oftentimes, they will want to produce a product or printout. They will either slap the letters on without the logo or they will create- this always amazes me- they will create their own version of the logo. I have a two part question for you, Morgan. How would you feel if one of your clients decided to change the D&M Creative Ltd logo? For whatever reason they want. They have a good reason, but they want to do it themselves because they don’t like yours. I think your laugh is a good response, probably.
Yeah. I would not be happy about it to be honest.
Of course not. So what I am asking members to do is think about it. Fill in the blank with your company name. Whatever company you run- imagine you had 140,000 clients and that they all wanted to do a different variation of your logo and your brand. That would make it very difficult to run the business. That is the challenge we have if we don’t use the BNI brand consistently. By the way, there are other issues like being able to maintain the trademark. You can’t maintain a trademark unless you have consistent application of the trademark.So there are legal issues, but from a branding perspective, it’s so important to have consistent use.
What Morgan and his team have done with the help of BNI HQ here and our communications people, is put together this great website, BNIbranding.com. It has everything you need to know about using the BNI brand in the proper way which will help you to grow your local chapter.
We really appreciate the work that you have done, Morgan. Any last comment before I wrap up?
The last thing I would like to say, Ivan, and underpin is please visit the website. Use the website. Use it as a tool to help grow your chapter because ultimately, that will help grow everybody’s business within your chapter.
That is definitely our goal. BNIbranding.com. Morgan Rothwell, thank you so much for everything you have done for the organization. What is your website, Morgan?
Our website is www.dandmcreative.com
Again, Morgan, thank you so much for helping us out with this. Priscilla, back to you.
Okay. Perfect.Thank you so much, both of you. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.