Contact Us | User Login  
Program Competencies
Our Blog


PDF Version



Monday, March 14, 2016





From time to time managers will inquire where we came-up with term “Boats & Helicopters” and what does it mean. Well, here’s a refresher!


Here’s a story that may be applicable to the way we go about building “brands” and “creating brand loyalty.” Perhaps, you are familiar with and/or can use it.


Joe, an octogenarian of strong faith, was tested when a river close to his home became flooded. As the river began to spill, neighbors in a rowboat called out to Joe to join them in their evacuation to safety. Joe declined saying, “I have faith in the Lord and the Lord will save me.”


As the river continued to swell and the flood worsened Joe found refuge on the second floor of his home. A Coast Guard boat cruised through his neighborhood offering him a second chance to evacuate. Again, Joe declined saying, “I have faith in the Lord and the Lord will save me.”


A few hours later the inexorable rise of the raging river forced Joe to seek shelter on the roof of his home. A Coast Guard helicopter patrolling to pick-up stragglers sights Joe. A crewman offers Joe a harness to airlift him to safety and escape from danger before the river crests. Joe stubbornly refuses saying, “I have faith in the Lord and the Lord will save me.”


Well, the river crests and Joe drowns. Finding himself at the proverbial pearly gates, Joe is stunned to think that despite his great faith the Lord has abandoned him to the devastating flood. In a fit of anger he demands that the Lord explain why his faith and prayers did not save him. But the Lord patiently responds, “What do you mean Joe? I sent you two boats and a helicopter.”


In the course of our careers, and days, we are sent many boats and helicopters that could prove valuable in stimulating new thinking – the kind that can help us create brand loyalty for our products and services. With each article of DISPATCHES™ we send you our version of “boats and helicopters.” The “helicopters” fly above the ground and refer to strategic issues and principles. “Boats” skim the surface and accordingly deal with specific practices and marketing mix elements.


We aren’t attempting to tell you “what” to think with these “boats and helicopters.” Instead, we are merely offering you ways regarding “how” to think so you might leverage your experiences and creativity to fit your unique situation. After all, “how” one thinks could provide the strategic advantage in this “age of sameness” where products, services and people tend to be similar across organizations



The “boats and helicopters” come, in part, from our books COMPETITIVE POSITIONING – Best Practices for Creating Brand Loyalty and CREATING BRAND LOYALTY - The Management of Power Positioning and Really Great Advertising, which are available through and They also come from our highly successful marketing training programs, particularly the Power Brand Positioning & Leadership Communications training programs, and consulting practice serving leading companies and their brands throughout the world.


Boats? Helicopters? We don’t claim they will save you but they can help you build strong, competitive brands and create brand loyalty.




  1. Be an active listener and observer – Think about how you might apply what you hear, read and observe to your brand.

  2. Select topics important to you – Let’s hear from you. Please let us know what subjects you would like to see us cover in future DISPATCHES™.


Let’s work together to make our marketing matter more!


Best wishes,

Richard Czerniawski & Mike Maloney



Richard Czerniawski

430 Abbotsford Road

Kenilworth, Illinois 60043

tel 847.256.8820 fax 847.256.8847

reply to Richard: or



Mike Maloney

1506 West 13th

Austin, Texas 78703

tel 512.761.4038

reply to Mike: or

© 2003 Brand Development Network (BDN) International. All rights reserved.

  Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site Map | Help

© 2007 Brand Development Network Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Site Web Master: Vincent Sevedge. Designed by
Call us: 800-255-9831
[Print Page]

Open 5-2008 BP&MCC Online Assessment