I was never a Boy Scout growing up. Nor was I the “outdoorsy” type who loved exploring the wilderness, sleeping in bug-infested tents or cabins with small forest creatures lurking about, or starting fires without matches and tying all sorts of knots. In fact, my idea of “roughing it” would be to stay a night in a Motel 6.
Since my son has become involved in Cub Scouts, however, and I a Den Leader (not necessarily by choice), I have learned that there are a lot of valuable life lessons that can be learned. Many of these lessons can be applied to the business realm as well, particularly when it comes to building a brand image.
Take the Scout Motto, for instance. Recited before every Pack or Den Meeting, it is a perfect example of a Mission Statement. And it can also easily be applied to successful businesses or brands. If you still have a hard time making the connection between Scouting and business, let’s dissect the motto line by line.
Every brand or business makes a promise to its customers, whether it is providing a product or service. That promise is to deliver a relevant brand experience based on quality, service, and emotion.
“TO DO MY BEST.”
Passion is vital to your brand. If you don’t believe in the product or service you are providing, customers can tell, and will take their business somewhere else. Integrity is also important: do what you say, and say what you mean.
“TO DO MY DUTY TO GOD AND MY COUNTRY.”
While the religious or nationalistic qualities of this statement could be the topic of much debate, I think that this statement applied to business simply means that you are called to serve a higher purpose, whether that is to your shareholders, employees, business partners, vendors, or customers.
“TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE.”
The attitude toward big business today is very hostile, with the perception that all businesses are out simply to make huge profits at the expense of others. I would argue instead that most entrepreneurs go into business in order to fill a need or solve a problem they see within society. Not everyone is only profit or money driven. At the end of the day, brands and businesses seek to help benefit the common good by creating innovative products and services to make lives easier or more fulfilling.
“TO OBEY THE LAW OF THE PACK.”
Business and brands should strive for integrity by treating others with respect. In order to do so, they must follow the rules of society and follow cultural norms.
While scouting in general and the Boy Scouts in particular have had their share of image problems over the past several years, there are still important lessons that can be learned. The Scout Motto, applied to business and brands, is one of them.
By: Ryan Hembree, Principal | Brand & Creative Strategy