This article is a thank you to:
- Laeeq Siddique
- Professor Jonathan A.J Wilson
- Andrew Schwartz, author of “Death to Pragmatism” (in the Jeffersoniad),
- the authors of, “How Digital Leaders are Transforming B2B Marketing,” Phillip Andersen, Robert Archacki, Nicolas De Bellefonds, David Ratajczak, and
- Dipika Karki.
Let’s start at the beginning I’m connected to Laeeq Siddique on LinkedIN. He drew my attention to an article by Andrew Schwartz on the philosophy of American Pragmatism in the Jeffersoniad.
I was curious, so I read it.
I was unfamiliar with the content/information of the article, but I have a good understanding of the construction of knowledge, of knowing how people know and how they experience – in daily life – this knowing, so by the time I had finished reading it – I commented.
I was surprised to see that no one else had commented on the article, and pondered whether anyone else had read it. Perhaps:
- no one was interested in philosophy?
- they did not understand it so felt unable to comment?
- the article was about branding the author as the knowledgeable expert?
I reflected on my ability to connect to material and quickly decipher its key points – regardless of its topical content. It was something I was good at, but I was also very good at connecting this information to other information in ways that made sense to people – to their values, their connections, their experiences.
I think it was a few days later that I came across a post by Professor Jonathan A.J Wilson – ‘the boffin with the quantum of cool.’ It was a great post, because in a very few words he explained branding, value and advertising. Clever man. The contents of his post basically showed him walking his walk, talking his talk: he’s the man with a brand who knows how to brand. It was beautifully done. I’m not surprised it got as many hits as it did, I was surprised he was surprised! I’m coming back to that point later.
Professor Wilson’s post made me reflect on branding, value, advertising – my own and that of others. Which brings me to an article on B2B marketing transformations – and if you’re like me and don’t know what that means, it means business to business selling as per E Commerce.
I started to read. A lot of the terminology was unfamiliar to me, but so was the terminology in the Jeffersoniad article, too. There was a lot of information in the B2B marketing article, and it came like a hail of bullets – buzzing around my eyes and ears.
I kicked myself – it was LinkedIN – everyone is selling something, branding themselves, doing their bit in the advertising and marketing terrain of comments, articles, connections. I wondered if the strategy of the authors of the B2B article, was to brand themselves as experts and do so by over whelming their audience with information. On the other hand, the energy of the article might just have been exuberant enthusiasm for their subject?
Andrew Schwartz, author of the article on Pragmatism in the Jeffersoniad, was branding and marketing himself, as was Professor Wilson, as were the four authors of, “How Digital Leaders are Transforming B2B Marketing.” Is there anything wrong with that? I don’t think so. There was certainly value in these branding adventures.
These branding adventures connected to me because they made me reflect about my brand. And thinking about my brand made me realise how useful my skills are, how talented I am, and how uniquely placed I am – to work creatively – in any context. They helped me to put the ‘A’ in academic, the capital ‘I” in intellectual – and shamelessly and loudly proclaim that I am a real AI (Academic Intellectual) and proud of it!
After all, how many people can:
- quickly browse an article on American Pragmatism,
- link it to a future proofing article on B2B’s and digital marketing
- comprehend the magnitude of Professor Jonathan A.J Wilson’s post – of him meeting an ex student on an Emirates flight, and
- use it to explore the basis of their own knowledge?
Furthermore, in creating value for myself – given my abilities to make connections, align and link disparate areas of information, experiences, contexts – I deliberately and strategically create value for others: that is the value of a real AI – an academic intellectual, with a flair for creativity that knows no-bounds. Furthermore, adding value to others – providing opportunities for creating value for others – is a big part of who I am.
So what value can I create for Dipika Karki – the ex student of Professor Wilson, and an employee of Emirates? Furthermore, what value can I create for Emirates? What connections (advertising opportunities) can I offer both of them? Perhaps somewhere in these connections, I can create value for Professor Jonathan AJ Wilson, too? After all, he created value for me.
I recalled a book I read a long time ago, the title is a bit blurry, but it was something like: ’The Commercialisation of Emotions’ ; it was a social study of either TWA or United Airline flight attendants in the 80’s? The world of a flight attendant is challenging – on and off the plane.
Emirates is a large global organisation – and it is probably difficult to recognise outstanding employee contributions to the company’s organisational directives, values and visions. Yet, this is what Dipika Karki did. She advertised Emirates as a savvy, confident, polite, responsible, intelligent, empathetic company – with a sense of playfulness – whose employees reflect and create these values at every opportunity.
How did Dipika Karki do this?
- She remembered a lecturer from her student days – memory is a sign of intelligence and she was studying: intelligent employees.
- She was confident to say: “Hello and introduce herself … .” Confidence is the best networking app. you can have.
- She was savvy enough to know that this particular lecturer knew all about branding, advertising, culture and had a sense of humour. So whether the image, with an Emirates sign loud and proud in it, was Professor Wilson’s quick wit, or Dipika Karki’s, or just luck – doesn’t matter! It’s what you do with that content that matters now.
- Empathetic – a lot of people get nervous flying. Making connections with them – some will be easier than others – soothes anxiety in any context. It’s a responsible approach to limiting potentially negative client experiences.
In their Vision and Values statement, Emirates Group states:
“We firmly believe our employees are our greatest asset and their contribution to the staggering pace at which we have developed cannot be underestimated. Without them it would not have been possible and we acknowledge this with a range of excellent benefits, including a generous profit share scheme, and programmes designed to help them fulfil their career goals.”
Dipika Karki made a great contribution – she embodied Emirates’ values and vision. A contribution that could provide endless Learning and Development, Marketing, Branding and Advertising experiences and resources.
If Emirates does value their employees, then Dipika Karki actions should make her employee of the month – at the very least! And if they don’t have processes and procedures in place that can pick up on the possibilities that opportunities, like Dipika’s meeting with her old university Professor, Jonathan J.A. Wilson, offers them – they should have! As should any organisation – large or small.
Was Dipika Karki aware of the implications of her actions when she said hello to her old university Professor? Who knows? If she did, she’s CEO material!
I think Dipika was just doing her job when she said hello to Professor Jonathan A.J Wilson, and he was doing his, when he posted the meeting on LinkedIN – and he’s right: “it is nice to be remembered!”
Which, to be honest, is why I’ve written this. It’s my branding strategy. I want my brand to be remembered as someone who:
- can link any information – because they understand it
- use any opportunity, context, forum – to create value
- make connections where others see difference and disconnection
- create openings, links and alignments – where others experience alienation and isolation
- transforms blockages into possibilities
- makes the impossible possible – because I have learnt to embrace the unknown.