“What’s The Good Word?”

I’ve been thinking lately about my brand.  Of course, I haven’t yet cultivated a brand name, the way Apple or BMW or Boeing has, but I’ve been wondering what it is that people associate me with when they first meet me.  I found my answer in a place I never expected to find it.

Signature Flight Support IAD Lobby. Just over your left shoulder is the ramp.

I work for an aircraft maintenance company at Dulles International, just outside Washington, DC.  We are based in the Signature Flight Support building, renting an office in one of their hangars.  I work with several other mechanics, but I also interact daily with the customer service staff and line support folks at Signature (read: the people who book your rental car and order your catering, put fuel in your airplane and deice it when it’s sleeting and windy out).

I recognized long ago that these people are not quite my coworkers, but rather, I am their customer.  No, I don’t have to pay them anything, but on several accounts, I do in fact require their services.  I need them to defuel an airplane.  I need them to find space for my aircraft in their hangar when all their tenants are home and the place is packed. I need them to move my plane to an area with grass behind it so I can run engines.  Oh, and we’re kind of on a deadline–can you do that soon?

I need them for all kinds of things, and so I’ve made it a point to try and let them know I appreciate their help.  I’ve done this by asking if there’s anything we (Sun Aircraft) can do to help them when we are slow and have the time, and mostly just by generally being the guy who hands out the sunshine when I walk into the lobby or line room.  I’ve made positive steps toward an amicable coexistence between my company and the employees who, honestly, don’t owe us a thing.

The place I found one of my answers came from a guy named Muhammed, who, each time I would see him, would say to me, “What’s the good word?” He usually says this in a very crisp and succinct English accent, instead of the middle eastern accent he typically speaks with, and he is usually smiling when he says it.  After about the third time, I thought, “Why does he keep saying that to me?”  It turns out that I had said that to him a few weeks prior, before we’d ever had a formal introduction.  I said it in passing, as I do to many people–it’s one of my staple greetings.  I didn’t even know his name (at the time), and he remembered me for essentially asking him how his day was going.

The point is, I do not have a brand, and yet, I do.  You do, too.  What is your brand’s tagline?  What do people think of first thing when they think of you?  If you don’t know, you might ask around.  You might have to prepare yourself for some tough answers, but even negative constructive feedback is far more useful than none at all.

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  1. Alright, J Grana…..what’s MY brand? How would you describe me? 🙂

    • Oh, Shana…I think I’d call your brand “P90-S.” You’re an a$$-kicker with charm and a smile 🙂

  1. May 26th, 2012
  2. May 26th, 2012

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