A heavy woman in her 30s carries a dozen small towels across the wet deck of an indoor hotel pool. After dropping them on a metal stand, she turns around and walks past two dozen boisterous pre-teens on her way to the service elevator. She does not return.
Is she in the “delivery of towels business” or is she in the hospitality business? If she was in the hospitality business, she might have realized that the additional 24 kids were going to require a few more towels. The question is not as ridiculous as it may sound. Many businesses, organizations and institutions forget after a while what made them prosperous and for whom.
Over time it’s easy to lose focus and forget the values we once personified. Businesses that are successful because of superior service lose their edge when they grow beyond their ability to properly train a larger staff. Governments that trade ethical behavior for political concessions damage trust and promote cynicism. Institutions that sacrifice a collegial membership for corporate sponsorship make money but jeopardize legitimacy.
Successful entities — like successful branding efforts — are the result of a consistent application and affirmation of sustaining values over time. By remembering where we came from and why, it’s easier to see where we are going and how to get there.
Essex Two helps its clients accomplish their communication objectives by identifying the sustaining values that shape their culture and focus their efforts. We encourage our clients to remember what they do best and why. Our approach is interdisciplinary, coordinating language, images and activities that engage the client’s constituencies, build brand loyalty and nurture trust.
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We see what you’re saying.SM
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