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Why you should use correct Kiwanis branding

Vicki Hermansen | Jul 16, 2019

Two men, dressed in Kiwanis-branded shirts, pose at a playground-build site.

What is branding and why is it important? Your brand reflects who you are, what you’re made of and what you do. It’s how others see you. And when it’s done correctly, it has great benefit.  

Strong brands such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Apple earn loyalty and trust over the years. People who like coffee may search for a Starbucks instead of stopping elsewhere. And when you order a Coke and the server asks, “Is Pepsi OK,” a loyal devotee would likely say, “No.” Apple products elicit the same feelings. Some people actually stand in line for hours to buy the latest products. These strong brands have captured the loyalty and trust of consumers.

Our Kiwanis brand can be the same. We attract people who want to help, people who like to serve their communities and help kids.  

Our strength is in our mission.  

Our challenge is with awareness and consistent use of our logo. 

When you see the Starbucks logo, you know exactly what you’re getting. With Starbucks, you know how the local store will smell when you walk in. You know the music that will be playing and how the furniture will be grouped. You know the green mermaid means you’ll get the coffee you expect. 

We have some challenges with the Kiwanis brand, and we need your help to remedy the situation. We know if we grow our brand by opening new clubs and gaining more members, we can help more kids and have a positive impact on communities.  

When you see your favorite brand’s logo, is it altered in any way? No. Why? Because consistency is key for recognition. But too often we see Kiwanis logos that have been personalized in some way. Many clubs and districts like to decorate the Kiwanis branding with the name of their club, city or town, their main service project or a graphic element. These club members likely believe they are distinguishing themselves from other clubs.

But in fact, the opposite is happening. These clubs are diluting the Kiwanis brand. Every addition to the logo — the Kiwanis seal and the wordmark — serves to dilute the brand and have the opposite effect of distinguishing one club from another. Every decoration to our brand is harmful. These decorations actually confuse people because they are unable to tell if your club is part of the same organization as another club. Think of Starbucks. If one store uses the green branding color and another uses yellow or red, a coffee drinker might be confused and decide not to go to that store. Branding makes the experience cohesive. We can’t allow every club, district or member to change it. 

A recent Microsoft study found that 90% of consumers say they expect consistency and loyalty from a brand across all channels. That means Kiwanis clubs and members should use the approved logos and avoid temptation to add decorations or geographic identifiers that only serve to confuse the public.

The good news is that more than 3,000 clubs have taken advantage of our custom club logo, which we’ll design free for your club or district. This logo standardizes our look. Visit our website and request one! Kiwanis will send your logo files in all the formats you need for digital and print use.

We also have prepared properly branded materials for clubs to use on all communication channels. Visit kiwanis.org/brand for social media photos, media releases, print ads and more. These materials provide consistency to the brand so that anyone, anywhere will be able to recognize the Kiwanis brand.  

Proper use of the Kiwanis brand can increase our name recognition and awareness and help attract more members. And that will help us help more kids.

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