In my last post, I talked about the power of word-of-mouth marketing from the customer perspective, but this technique can be effective in other ways, too! Business networking can also have a positive effect on your business branding, especially if your business is set up to serve other businesses.
Word of mouth branding and marketing works for business-to-business contacts
Business Networking International (BNI) is a business networking group that can help you put your business in front of other business owners in your area. BNI operates on a simple approach to business networking. Business professionals join a local chapter for the purpose of networking and collectively increasing business opportunities for all members of the chapter.
Only one chapter member in a profession is permitted, so if you operate a local landscaping firm and a chapter already has a landscaping professional in the chapter, you’ll be referred to a different chapter that doesn’t already have a competing professional in the local network. BNI chapter members keep the business cards of other chapter members handy and pass them out to contacts who are looking for professional services and support. BNI refers to this concept as “Givers Gain” and it really works!
BNI chapters meet weekly, so you have the opportunity to develop relationships with other BNI members and share your business experience. You really get to know their businesses and they get to know yours! It’s a great way to increase business both among group members and with contacts outside of the group that your chapter members have.
Each chapter offers a variety of membership options, including one-year and two-year memberships. Attendance at chapter meetings is key to the success of the chapter, so a BNI chapter seeks out members who can commit to attending chapter meetings regularly. Each chapter also follows a Code of Ethics, which describes how members will treat each other and handle the referrals that members make on behalf of each other.
There are many ways to use word-of-mouth branding and marketing to drive sales and bring new customers to your business. One thing is clear, however – word-of-mouth branding and marketing really works! Consumers – whether they’re individuals or business consumers – are much more comfortable doing business with “a friend of a friend” or with someone who was referred to them than they are establishing a business relationship with a stranger.
If you would like more information about branding and marketing strategies that include word-of-mouth components for business, contact our creative director Dave Ramsell, or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 for a branding and marketing consultation.
Photo Credit: lockstockb , via StockXchng