Robert A. Sereci, CCM, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer, Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, says branding isn’t just for cattle anymore. But just as a rancher brands cows to show ownership, managers should own, nurture and care for their club, and claim it appropriately with a consistent and well-defined brand that goes beyond mission statements and vision, to state who you are and why you do what you do.
You must use every channel, as each market segment relies on different channels to receive information. Fortunately for us we have a Director of Communications who ensures that we are consistent, not only in our club voice, but more importantly, that we “walk the talk.”
During prospective member tours, we use specific scripts that articulate our brand promise. We use similar language when we speak to employees. We made changes on our website to clearly articulate our purpose. We developed standards for our logos, with specific guidelines for how they may be used.
For example, our brand guideline specifies that at least 60% of all apparel must have the original Medinah logo and the other 40% can be color-matched with the garment. I also use my LinkedIn profile extensively to articulate and enhance our brand among my professional community.
We also pay close attention to all of the visual clues that support our brand. Last fall, a family abruptly decided to join Medinah after months of deliberation. What was the reason for the sudden decision? On their last club tour, the spouse noticed a sign that read “Warning: Red-winged Blackbird Habitat.” Her comment was that if the club cares this much about a bird, chances are they care even more about their members.
And she is right. Our brand, by extension, naturally covers nesting birds at Medinah, too. Think about the signs you have at your club, and how they may inadvertently express unintended sentiments. Remember that everything you do is a visual representation of your belief system and an active part of your everyday brand, whether intentionally or inadvertently.