In January Kristina, Jacklyn and I went to mid-year training. One of the workshops we attended was on branding.
I really liked the analogy they used to make the point about how important branding is in today’s world.
Think about this. You are in a foreign country and it is lunch time. You are looking for a place to eat but you can’t read the signs on the building. What happens if you spot, in the distance, the “M” of McDonald? What goes through your mind? Do you keep looking for a restaurant or do you head for the McDonald? How did you know it was a McDonald?
That’s the power of a brand. Anywhere you go in the world, you recognize the McDonald logo and you know you will have food that will be like home. Consistent quality.
What is your “M”? Your banner, your guest kit, your agenda?
A few years ago, Toastmasters International change the colours of the banner to Blue and Burgundy. Your banner should reflect the new colours. If you still have the yellow one, I encourage you to buy the new one. By displaying the yellow banner, you are confusing your guests. That does not mean you need to get rid of the yellow one. No, it is part of the club’s history. But you should not display the yellow banner as the main banner. If you have ribbons, transfer them to the new banner. Those accomplishments deserve to be displayed. It’s part of your success and who you are as a club. Your banner is the first sign that your guests are at the right place. Like the “M” display it proudly for all to see.
Your Guest Kit:
What is in your guest kit? Is your material all from Toastmasters International? If not, is it on Toastmasters International stationary? Are you using the proper font? You can be creative in what you want your guests to take home with them. Just make sure you are using the right stationary.
Does your agenda have the Toastmaster logo? What font are you using? Do you have the club mission on it? Does it list the officers of your club, when you meet, where you meet? Does it have your club name, number and the date of the meeting? If the agenda is the only piece of paper your guests take with them, you want to make sure it has all the information your guests nee to find you again.
You can find all kinds of branded material on Toastmasters International website under “Resources”.
Your club meeting is your product. Imagine if McDonald had a different experience every time you walk in one of the restaurants. The quality of your meeting, starting with the way you brand your meeting, is what will bring your guests back. You can be creative, change your meeting format, have fun all within the brand’s guideline.
Become as recognizable as the “M”.
Jocelyne Vezina, DTM
D86 Club Growth Director