- (Photo: The Firstborn Son)
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase "finger licking good?" Or how about "fly the friendly skies" or "the ultimate driving machine?" These phrases are corporate branding slogans for Kentucky Fried Chicken, United Airlines, and BMW the automobile company. I could go on listing slogans, some of which would likely be your favorite brands.
Have you wondered why these slogans linger in your mind so vividly? I call them mental lint. "Family branding" has long existed and has been used to earn our loyalty by corporate marketers. Many of us exhibit possessive extremes by refusing to wear or drive competing brands. We also utter statements like "We are a ______ family."
Family branding allows a corporation to maximize unity in numbers while promoting a vast array of products.
A description of America's Greatest Brands (Vol. 9) released during the worse of the nation's economic hardships had this statement: "Some of these brands are the ones we grew up with, expanding and enhancing their contacts with us over time. These precious brands we share from one generation to the next. They have withstood the movement of time, the hardships of our history as a nation, and global economic fragility. They are pillars of strength and endurance that - through perseverance and creativity - continue to capture consumers' confidence."
Wouldn't it be great if the description accurately portrayed your family's vitality? Implementing a successful family legacy makes it entirely possible. Family legacy is the process of strategically transferring healthy family values to our children. That transfer allows them to live moral and productive lives. A successful family legacy provides security for family members regarding the distinct societal unit they represent. Family legacy will remove all anxiety and fears about the uncertainty and trials we face. As a result we replace those doubts with familial confidence. Confidence provides inspired unity, success, and guidance in the lives of every family member.
Corporate family branding has taken its greatest attributes from traditional families. Is there any question these same treasured values can powerfully restore the litany of broken families the culture produces? Implementing a positive family legacy provides characteristics such as motivation, purpose, discernment, planning, conviction, security, and success. These characteristics will withstand current destruction and social engineering trends.
We cannot deny our failure to promote healthy core values. Those core values are harbored in a healthy family legacy.
A lack of these values can lead to:
The disconnect in children and young adults to the concept of family.
Repeated strikes to the family institution by society.
Rapid growth of negative family statistical trends.
Denying proof heterosexual marriage is society's most successful demographic.
Growth of cultural individuality as opposed to a transcendent familial approach.
How do we build our family legacy into a recognizable brand that others can emulate?
The process is not about restricting fun (important family memories). Nor is it about a rigid self-sufficiency of our family unit from the broken culture. It is about putting in place the process which establishes, implements, and reproduces a proud family legacy or brand. However, as the patriarch, and matriarch in some cases, we must:
Create a vision for our family.
Develop and communicate the plan.
Ensure the effectiveness of its implementation.
Lead with conviction that ensures longevity of our vision by our actions.
Casting an efficient vision requires understanding the cultural forces which exist to undermine and destroy. Likewise, we must also understand the influences within community that elevate and enhance our vision for a successful family. We must see our dependents (our spouse, children, and so on) with a shepherd's eye-a protector and defender-many times at the expense of your own safety and reputation.
We must exhibit a sincere desire to understand our family's needs and aspirations. It is our key to delving deeper into the sources of opposition to the vision. We will more often than not effectively ward off unwanted influences which make us ineffective. Similarly, the idea of developing a recognizable familial brand anchored by our family name is terrific. Failing to do so may be our preface to years of confusion and identity struggles to come for our children.
Therefore, let us protect our dependents not by coercion but rather by conviction. Our dependents will embrace our exemplary actions as their own. Therefore we teach our dependents to be navigators rather than wait for us to guide their every move. There is a big difference. Discernment in the early adult years is the most critical evidence of this process.
Here are some biblical references which support my appeal:
Resist and eliminate the multigenerational curse (Exodus 20:5)
Take advantage of God's loving-kindness (Numbers 14:18)
Erect memorable monuments for your children by how you live (Joshua 4:19-24)
Break the holds of idols for your children's sake (2 Kings 17:41)
Teach your children the commanded precepts of God (Psalm 78:5)
Do not provoke or exasperate (Ephesians 6:4)
Give your child an opportunity for proud service (Philippians 2:22)
Provide ample encouragement (1 Thessalonians 2:11)
Create opportunities for common identification (Titus 1:4)
Create a connection of authentic and generous love (1 John 3:1)
Gift your children with a community of love (they are loved, because you were loved) (1 John 5:1)
The healthy family legacy we leave demands we lead by our actions. Our death is inevitable. Therefore we can no longer keep the plan in our head and lead with verbal briefings alone.
Our family legacy is designed to outlast any great corporate brand this culture or nation has seen. We will outlast them with more sustained and defined qualities or traits.
Many generations existed before us. The generations we follow existed long before successful corporations. Corporations come and go. But our families are certain to last more generations yet to come, regardless of difficulties. Productive family values are ours (traditional families) not the corporations. So are the innate successes of family values. The power harnessed by corporations will do so much more inside the structure of family.
Let's define and make our family legacy count proudly.
Ezechiel "Zeke" Bambolo, Jr. was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa as the firstborn son of African missionaries and teachers. He is an author and speaker who focuses on the strategic importance of family legacy. The foundational components of his messages and seminars rest on the strategic and sacrificial role of the firstborn son for the family, as well as the importance of successful family legacy as a strategic conduit for the stability of the individual, family, culture, and the nation. www.thefirstbornson.com