“Voicemail” question “Is launching a new brand from the same company more preferable than franchising?”

We have a voice in question from an anonymous listener “Is launching a new brand from the same company more preferable than franchising?”

These are two distinct topics, and I am not quite sure how they relate. Unfortunately, it was an anonymous sender. The listener who sent the ‘voice’ question did not leave a name or email address.

Let’s see. Let me tackle this as two questions. The first one is “Launching a new brand from the same company.” If the new brand is not targetting a different customer, then that should be no problem. I assume the new brand is still on-brand with the company’s overall branding.

However, if the new brand being launched is targetting a different set of customers, it’s best to launch the new brand as another company.

For example, when the Toyota Motors directors decided to go after the luxury class of automobiles, they knew they could not launch the new brand of cars under the ‘Toyota’ banner.

The Toyota brand stood for quality and affordability. The target market is the middle class and lower middle class. Coming out with a luxury brand of cars would confuse buyers. The target market of the new vehicles is the upper class of buyers. These target customers will not likely buy ‘Toyota’ cars for personal use. They are after prestige and luxury.

So as not to confuse their existing ‘Toyota’ market and their target luxury market, the car manufacturer decided to create a separate branding and company for it. So they came out with the Lexus brand of cars. Lexus was made to go after the market of Mercedez Benz and BMW. They offered the same luxury level of automobiles with reliability and high quality at more affordable pricing that Japanese manufacturers are known for. So one conglomerate is coming up with two brands of cars.

Now, let us discuss the second topic – franchising. I don’t have enough context to reply correctly. Hopefully, the listener that sent the question will be able to read this and send a follow-up question. Please provide a little bit more context so I can properly reply.

In the meantime, have a good day, everyone, and be safe.

If you have a question in mind, please send your question via the link below.


Six tell-tale signs that our leadership superpowers may be dipping

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When business is booming and the economy is raising our revenues, it’s easy to perform our role as a leader.

The key behaviors are easily manifested and evident to all employees. “Walking the talk” is easy. Leaders even preach the attributes of a good leader to their direct reports. They also enjoy dropping quotes from great leaders of the past.

However, challenging times tend to test our leadership resolve. Difficult times can test the values we preach. Such hard times can test our leadership competencies. It is in these moments that we need to hold on stronger to ideal leadership competencies and behaviors. This is the time where our people look up to us for guidance and to set an example for them to follow.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” James 1:2-3

It is in these moments that we need to understand and observe ourselves. We need to pay close attention to our leadership style. We need to be critical of how we behave towards our current situation and towards our people.

From experience consulting for different company leaders in good times and in bad, here are a few signs to watch out for. If you start seeing any of these manifests in your leadership style then it’s time to take a pause and assess why you are behaving the way you are behaving. Assess how your leadership behavior is helping or hindering your current situation.

  1. We start to de-priorities the development of our people.

In times of blessings and times of lack, people should always be our most important asset. We cannot have people as our most important asset in good times and in bad times bring them down the pecking order. It will be our good people sticking with us that will help us through difficult times. We may need to reduce our manpower in downtimes, however, let’s make sure we keep the good ones. Great companies invest more in the development of their people instead of cutting down the training budget. Management guru Peter Drucker said, “If you think training is expensive, try ignorance.”

  1. We start blaming first and ask questions after

Democracy reigns in good times. Everyone has an equal voice in good times. In bad times, we sometimes shift to finger-pointing. Instead of asking the question “what happened, what’s the root cause, how can we correct it, how can we prevent recurrence”, we default to “who is to blame for this?”

Such a work environment causes people to be afraid to try anything for fear of reprisal. Nobody also wants bad news to trickle up for fear that the messenger of bad news gets the ax. By the time senior management gets wind of an issue, it has already ballooned into a big problematic snowball.

  1. We fight industry trends

What got you there, won’t get you to the next level. Too many times, I have seen the reason for a company’s success turning into the reason for its failure. Company founders hold on to their original success formula. Software companies using the same antiquated programming approach even though it has been made obsolete by the industry. Retail businesses refusing to create a hybrid digital/brick-and-mortar model. People standing on street corners marketing their products and services using old-fashioned flyers.

Do we really think we can beat industry trends? Blockbuster thought that they can keep the lead by ignoring Netflix. They filed for chapter 11. Kodak refused to move to Digital cameras since their massive growth was fueled by film-based technology. They filed for chapter 11. Did Barnes & Noble think that building more stores would win the hearts of customers that are moving into digital books? They filed for chapter 11.

  1. We start losing high-potential people and retain the bad apples.

When signs of bad leadership start to manifest itself in the workplace, it’s the good employees that jump ship. These high performers know their market value. It’s the none-performers that tend to stay. Why? They have no place to go. Now take a balcony moment and check your business. Your company is currently under a lot of stress and the people you have are mostly non-performers. The good ones went out of the front door.

  1. We don’t openly bring faith in the workplace

Deuteronomy 8:18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth; that He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

When we succeed, we often think it was purely on our own accord and effort. We think that the growth of our business stems from our intelligence and tenacity. What we forget is that our talents, opportunities, blessings, wealth, valuable employees, valuable clients, favorable market trends, education, parents, family name and so on came from our creator. None of our success is purely ours to solely claim. Why is it that we do not openly acknowledge or practice our faith? Are we ashamed to be seen as an obedient follower? Are we ashamed to show that we rely on a higher power for our business?

Captains of industries with an openly strong faith in God have grown their business to billions of dollars in annual revenues. You have Dan Cathy (Chik-fil-A) grew his business to 2,363 stores with annual revenues of $10.5 Billion. You have Dave Thomas, CEO of Wendys with their 800 stores. James Cash Penny with 2,000 JC Penny store locations.

Clearly, faith in the workplace works.

  1. We start mixing personal and professional views

When times are good, leaders can separate their personal from work views. Even if they do not like people at a personal level they can work with them.

When times are tough, the line between personal and work views starts to blur. The leader’s personal views start to cloud their work judgment. Dealing with good people with opposing views starts to get painted in a bad light.

Once they have a bad view of good people, everything these people say is taken in a negative context. Good people that are marked as (personally) bad eventually leave the company.

There are other tell-tale signs of a leadership 180-degree turn. These are just examples of signs to look out for. With God by our side, we can maintain our positive Leadership behaviors in good times and in bad.

You can listen to the podcast version of this article by clicking here (jordansviews.com)

Living our work Values

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For the last few months, we had been encouraging our team members to seek our APEX (be authentic, be purpose driven and be excellent) values being exhibited by our colleagues. Values are useless unless they are lived by people. Values are useless unless it is rooted into a culture.

Every weekly meeting, we encourage sharing stories of colleagues having lived one of the three values in the past week. We entice this behavior, in the beginning, with prizes hoping that one day the values become a norm in the company.

This week, after three of our colleagues sharing their story, it struck on me that I had witnessed a colleague from HR exhibiting all three values. Let me share her story.

Last weekend, our team members went to EK for a day of de-stressing in our local theme park. On the drive home, my colleague from HR shared something interesting. Apparently, she is an avid learner. She enjoys jotting down tips every Monday, during our team meetings. She was so enthused with her learning opportunity at work that she could not contain it to herself. On every opportunity that arises, she would energetically share her learnings with her friends.

She believes deep in her heart that learning is an opportunity that should be visibly celebrated through sharing knowledge with others. It is not enough that we learn something new. The true values come from sharing knowledge with others. She does not need to share. However, she is always compelled by her conviction to share her learnings for the week.

Veng is authentic, she cannot contain her passion to share her learnings with others.

Veng has a clear purpose to help others.

Veng is excellent as she purposefully learns new things in order to get better in life and at work.

Veng has shown us one way of living all three values. Thank you, Veng.