BNI is a brand
I read in the BNI President’s manual, that BNI is a brand and our BNI chapters are a product of the brand. I never have liked to use the word product unless I am describing a tangible product like sodas or grocery items. I guess it is because I was in retail management for twenty years and I only used the word product for grocery items.
I have heard other industries like banking use the word product to describe different types of investing and financial “products”, it sounded foreign to me or out of place to use this word in those contexts. So when I read that our BNI chapters are a product of our BNI brand and when that sounded strange to me, I decided to do a word study on the word product. I was blown away on what I learned.
Product means: an article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale. That is what I always thought it meant, that does not sound like a BNI chapter. Then I dug deeper into the meaning. Product also means: a person or thing produced by or resulting from a process. And process means: A systematic series of actions directed to some end. Now that is starting to look like a BNI chapter, you could read it like this; Your BNI chapter is produced by or resulting from a process through a systematic series of actions becoming what it is today. A deeper definition of product is; the result obtained by multiplying two or more quantities together. Now that sounds like a BNI chapter.
When I really want to know what a word means I turn to the Thesaurus and look at synonyms for the word. Synonyms for product; Brand, crop, fruit, output, produce, production, stock, aftermath, artifact ( wow you chapter is an artifact of BNI) blend, brew (BNI has been brewing for 30 years) by-product, concoction, consequence, creation, fabrication, invention, legacy, line, outcome, realization, result, returns, last word, cutting edge… Wow!
Sometimes the opposite or antonyms can really define a word, the opposite of product is; loss, beginning, cause, origin, source starting over and back to the drawing board. From the synonyms and the antonyms I interpreted the meaning of product to mean; from the beginning to the end, from A-Z and everything in between.
My wife and I have a 2004 Escalade; we have put a lot of miles on this car, 200,000 in 12 years. Our transmission just went out and our BNI member at Go Automotive said “Robert the transmission we will sell you has had 20 upgrades and improvements over the last 12 years; you will be getting a transmission that was better than the one off the showroom floor!”
Your BNI chapter has had hundreds of upgrades over the last 30 years! Don’t start at the beginning, don’t reinvent referral marketing, don’t start over, let your chapter become a product of The BNI Brand! Follow the agenda, embrace the BNI traditions, goals, policies, guidelines and follow our BNI culture.