It's been over a year since I was in the "middle of the world" on an initial brand analysis exercise for ADSE. An interview by Authority Magazine got me going down memory lane as I recounted the "Aha moment" that revealed a passion in me to teach as an author and brand strategist.
It was two months before COVID-19 turn the world upside down and a localized, but equally devastating situation was turning the world of Ecuadorians upside down. President Lenin Moreno had just decided to remove a four-decade-old fuel subsidies, which crippled the nation straddling the equator as protestors block roads and highways.
UNDERSTANDING THE ROOTS
During the time spent with ADSE and the community she is in, we uncovered three core values that I believe stem from the legacy of five missionaries; Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian. Their martyrdom in 1956 in the hands of the Waodani tribe triggered a wave of evangelistic efforts into the Amazon jungles.
The Mission Aviation Fellowship, through Nate Saint as her first missionary in Shell, had been bringing the Gospel and life-sustaining resources into the jungle through flights, communications, and other logistics since 1948. The work of supporting missionaries, local churches, and villages continues with ADSE since 1986. While the pandemic may have affected and slowed down the organization, I believe that the work God started has not ceased.
My AHA MOMENT
Working with ADSE during the civil unrest has been an eye-opener. As I walked the line dividing different cultures, I learn the importance of contextualizing the universal concept of branding for local relevancy. I love the process of learning about ADSE and figuring out the best way to communicate the discovery and strategy to the leaders and staff who are mostly from a different culture.
I have always enjoyed working one-on-one with business owners as we develop or redefine their brands. Pivoting my approach, many thanks to the pandemic, I want to extend my reach through coaching groups within companies (beyond just the owners) and helping them understand that a powerful and memorable brand is built from within and as a team.
My book, "The ONE Game Changer To Boost Your Business. Use the B.R.A.N.D.™ System to go Deeper so you can go Further" (due to be available early next year) along with online courses (ie. B.R.A.N.D. Ed) will be a couple of ways I hope to achieve that goal.
More importantly, the underlying drive for the work and ministry of ADSE has reminded me of what God has called all His children to do. Whether we are flying planes, developing brands, or formulating marketing strategies, it is ultimately about making Him known. And that work is never finished until Christ comes again.