THE BODY BUILDER
by Major Terry Camsey –
MERKLEY NEWMAN HARTY is a large ad agency located in New York City.
They were quoted in a recent article in “Fast Company” as suggesting that the most important idea for companies wanting to succeed is the “governing brand idea”–an unusual perspective that includes original insights about such things as the nature of what is offered, corporate personality, etc.
They suggest, too, that a governing brand creates a compelling alternative in the eyes of the customers. “In a world of change,” they say “either you make history or you are history.”
As an example of what they mean, Merkley cites Jet-Blue Airway Corporation, a new airline that flies out of New York. Noting that people hate airlines because it’s an industry over which they have no control, they advised Jet-Blue not to be an airline, but to be an “advocate for customers.” This has re-channeled energy and, suddenly, everything about Jet-Blue has been open to reconsideration: uniforms, meals, types of people hired, etc.
In the same magazine, the chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation says that when Federal Express was first started, he didn’t think they understood their real goal. They thought they were selling “transportation” when, in fact, they were selling “peace of mind.”
There is no doubt that the way we perceive ourselves will color our actions and that–if that perception is inaccurate–we can spend a great deal of energy without seeing the results we seek. Frederick W. Smith (Chairman, FedEx) suggests that organizations get into real trouble when they see means (methods) as ends (preferred destinations).
Perceptions are important, aren’t they? For instance, how you see your corps will color everything about it: style, people attracted, use of energy, etc. A corps that sees itself as a “hospital for sick people” will behave very differently from the corps that sees itself as a spiritual “boot camp,” equipping people to be effective evangelists in a hostile environment. The corps that sees itself as a “social club” for others with like interests will be totally different from the one that sees itself as a “child-care center.”
So the whole concept of a “governing brand idea” is fascinating…especially if it can have a significant impact on whether we are history or whether we are making history. What do you consider to be the compelling alternative to moribund churches in the eyes of those we profess we exist to reach?
What is the compelling alternative that Christianity offers and other faiths cannot?
How might this kind of thinking be beneficial to us? How might it impact our uniforms, technology, sermons, programs, types of leaders recruited?
What do you think?