On the evening of October 3rd, 2019, I was in Fort Lauderdale waiting to see if my flight to Ecuador would be cancelled as protests and riots in the country flooded the national news media. The nation straddling the equator was crippled as protestors blocked roads and highways in response to President Lenin Moreno's decision to remove of a four-decade-old fuel subsidies. Read more about it here.
Flying into fire
This was probably the worst time to visit the country known for her diverse landscape stretching between the Amazon jungles, the Andean highlands, and the coasts including the famous Galápagos Islands.
However, having planned this trip since June of 2019 to conduct an initial brand analysis for Alas de Socorro Ecuador or ADSE (pronounced as "ARD-ZEE"), getting front row seat to Ecuador’s 12-day of crisis became part of the agenda.
With the reopening of the country’s airport and the airline continuing her scheduled flight on October 4, I flew into the heart of the protest on the outskirt of the nation’s capital, Quito.
Since the roads were still unsafe for the planned 5-hour drive to my final destination of Shell, I got a chance to experience one of ADSE’s offerings; charter air service via her Cessna 206 propeller plane.
Prior to making this trans-continental journey, I have learned about ADSE between multiple conversations with a staff and a few hours of research via the Internet including perusing the organization’s website. While ADSE is an affiliate of the Mission Aviation Fellowship, I recognized that her operations will vary since she is in a different country and culture.
While I may be the expert in brand design and strategy, I am never the expert in my client’s industry. And that's the mindset whenever I start an initial brand analysis exercise with business owners and leaders. During the 20+ days of living and working with the people from the organization and the community of Shell, I have gained important insights that led to the fine-tuning of ADSE’s Brand Story.
I used to explain the components of a powerful brand with an illustration of an iceberg. However, for the team members at ADSE, I changed it to a tree as a more relatable metaphor to achieve the same goal. And that has formed the foundation to many of my material as a brand coach.
Watch the video below to learn how thinking of your business (and even of yourself) as a tree is helpful in understanding your brand.
Continue with Part 2 as we uncover the values that drives ADSE in their day-to-day.