I decided to use a real advertisement to illustrate a point about branding when teaching a group of youths (aged 18 - 20 years old) who is part of an entrepreneurship program hosted by the Oklahoma City Police Department.
The above print advertisement truly belongs to one of the companies; Nike or Adidas and below is the video revealing the answer and the lessons taught.
ADSE has been in operation since 1986 and with changes in society and leadership, any established business should regularly revisit their vision, mission, and value (ie. collectively known as the culture of a company) to remember what drives her.
Beyond plastering posters everywhere displaying the culture of the company, it takes creativity on the part of leadership to inculcate within their team members the importance of living and breathing those invisible aspects. The invisible aspects of a business are the roots and soil that affects her ability to product delicious fruits and desirable shade; the visible aspects. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
It is also easy for a company to react to needs with new services or products (ie. offering) without seeing if they are in line with her values. While it might appear like “a good thing to do”, doing a few things well is better than trying to balance too many things poorly.
During the 12-day of civil unrest in the country, ADSE’s reaction to the situation shed light on some deeply rooted values that I encouraged the organization to embrace and amplify.
When news that violent protestors were coming through Shell, ADSE was quick to move their team members and immediate family to a safer gated community and away from the main streets.
The first night was spent together with other Christians in the neighborhood, where a meal was shared and prayers were offered for peace and safety. Everyone knew that they can remain in the different homes within that community for as long as it was needed.
Thankfully, Shell did not see the level of violence as experienced in neighboring towns. And since she has an airstrip used by ADSE and other aviation services, several tourists were seeking help to get to the international airport in Quito with hopes to leave the country.
Instead of turning the tourists away because her smaller planes cannot meet the needs, ADSE started looking for higher-capacity aircrafts from other companies to get the foreigners to their destination. Furthermore, despite pressure from various service providers to charge the tourists a lot more money, ADSE refused to take advantage of the situation and only bill sufficiently to meet her operational needs.
ADSE was to fly a tourist to Quito right when the civil unrest began. She was offered refuge at the gated community since ADSE was not able to fly out of Shell. “I feel better being with strangers now than being stranded alone,” commented B when she evacuated ADSE’s hangar with the team members.
As the roads were impassable causing food supplies to grow thin as the situation dragged out, the faith community remained mindful about sharing resources with each other. In addition, some of them made a point to visit and support local restaurants and stores who chose to remain open. As a result, relationships were deepened in the midst of the crisis.
THE VALUES THAT DRIVE YOU
Healthy roots are critical for a tree to continue growing and bearing fruits. Similarly, an organization's values will continue to guide and inspire what she offers, how she behaves, and how customers experience the brand. Values that go beyond profitability should also apply to for-profit businesses.
Would you do business with a company whose sole purpose is to make money? If you put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customers and what they see as important, you will appreciate the power of the invisible aspects of your business.
Defining the core values (keep it to no more than five please) and modeling the behaviors driven by these values will set you apart as an exemplary leader and set your business on the path towards building a community of brand advocates.
Continue with Part 3 as we uncover the roots ADSE.