Environmentalists are assessing and addressing the impact of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Engineers are working tirelessly to stop the leak. Aside from outrage and accusation, the leak has kicked off a somber entrepreneurial sentiment. One of our friends is the president of a prominent yachtworks in the area. In DC to speak with leadership about the oil’s impact, we found a little time to talk about how companies throughout the Gulf are facing the reality that business is changing.
His company is working to position at least part of its operations as a being able to help with environmental recovery efforts. This means more than just proclaiming the ability to tow oil booms or deliver straw bales. Experts are speculating the oil will be visible for the next decade, and will impact the Gulf ecosystem for the next century. Almost any major company that can put boats in the water is eager to help with cleanup, and many have launched rapid branding efforts to sell their services. This involves new messaging, revised web content, new collateral, even new identity development as companies create separate divisions dedicated exclusively to the recovery efforts.
The initiatives and intent are laudable. In many ways, they are also essential. The very livelihood of these companies has been covered by a layer of petroleum. Commercial fishing, recreational charters, and dozens of similar industries are being forced to adapt. The ones who can distinguish themselves quickly stand a better chance of landing a business-saving contract. It’s an unfortunate reality, but the companies quick to accept it and address it will be the ones most likely to remain in business.
To learn how you can help with the Oil Disaster Recovery, visit the National Park Foundation website.