Reason 60

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.

Note, Noted, and Noticed:  The Week, The Best of the U.S. and International Media, is a weekly news magazine. With very little advertising and almost no gossip, The Week is a “news” publication the way many news publications used to be. From parochial columnists to editorial cartoonists, The Week selects and balances ideas, opinions, stories and interviews for those of us who don’t have the time to do it ourselves. The problem is finding a copy. Unless you subscribe, book stores and newsstands are sold out the day they arrive.

We see what you’re saying.SM

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Design is a Verb® invites you to think about design as a process, not a product. Design is an active and engaging experience that stimulates collaboration toward a common goal. Essex Two offers this and subsequent ideas designed to promote critical thinking about successful communication.