Be live…Believe…Belong!

Introducing the Believe Belong Blog

After a few weeks as President of Diners Club International and fresh from a global franchise meeting, I am very excited to announce a new platform for interaction: BelieveBelong.com. We anticipate blogs coming from different countries in many languages and I encourage you to share them and provide comments. We want this to be a forum where people share ideas and memorable moments, but also connect with one another and establish a sense of community.

Our first blog entry is about my passion and vision for Diners Club – I recently shared it live with many folks. It includes a video that has been well received by audiences that have seen it.

“Believe in the idea of possibilities”

I believe in possibilities – the very thing on which this company was built. In 1950, Frank McNamara rather than being content with what money could buy, saw instead, the possibility of what a credit card could do. He also believed in the possibility of a single idea, and the result became an industry worth sixteen trillion dollars annually. An industry that bring us all together with a common purpose.

In the beginning, Mr. McNamara envisioned the credit card as a tool for business – a convenient way to facilitate many different meetings at many different restaurants and just have one bill. Over time, the “diners” part of Diners Club evolved. Just as restaurants saw the business possibilities of a credit card, so did hotels and gas stations and shops of all kinds. They signed on; a few first, and then, in droves. The “club” part of Diners Club became the heart and soul of the brand and would remain so. The “club” was all about enjoying life. Making its memorable moments, accessible and attainable. It was the human part of the equation. It was all about belonging; one of our most fundamental needs. That need hasn’t changed since 1950. In fact, it hasn’t changed since the beginning of time. This core value, the power of community, catapulted Diners Club from one member, Mr. McNamara, to millions more.

“Believe in the future of Diners Club and belong to our club”

Today, technology has redefined the power of community. Social media platforms have brought the time-honored tradition of belonging into the new and shining light of the 21st Century. To belong is to be connected and being connected is in the palm of our hands. The contemporary interpretation of “club” has no borders, no boundaries, but more than ever, it’s about belonging. It’s about a custom umbrella maker in Vienna connecting with a shop owner in Quito. It’s about new Diners Club franchises connecting with older franchises, and each learning in the exchange. It’s about our company connecting with our customers in ways we never dreamed of before. The club is an idea filled with possibilities. Frank McNamara saw them. We can realize them.

The time has never been more right for a brand with a rich past. Retro is back, in food and fashion and popular culture, and it’s being embraced by a new generation of potential card members. The card that had a walk-on role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the card that lived and worked at the Empire State Building is the card with retro cachet. Its past can be part of its future and there’s no time like the present to take advantage of that. However, retro-marketing is not dressing up the new Diners Club in vintage clothes. If we’re asking our customers to be part of the Club, they get to vote.

In summary, I believe in the idea of possibilities; I believe in the possibilities of our ideas; and I believe in the future of Diners Club.

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