Andres Villagran is Head of Marketing at Wheel the World. After working in digital marketing at different companies abroad and in Chile, he joined the WTW Team.
“I joined the team at Wheel the World because I was attracted to the project as soon as I heard about it, due to what it represents and the positive energy it spreads. I stopped Alvaro in the street and I said, I want to work here. I’ll do whatever I need to to contribute because I want to be part of something that means something to me and contribute in some way to a more just world.”
Here, Andres shares his perspective of the marketing side of Wheel the World, and the work that went into defining the company’s purpose:
The Importance of Knowing Who You Are and Who You Work For
Today we are going through so many changes on a worldwide level. On one hand, the struggle to take care of the environment (due to misuse and exploitation of resources, drought, unsustainable tourism and more). The COVID pandemic has touched us all in some way. The fight against racism continues worldwide today (as if we haven’t learned anything from history). We also have a big problem in that our world is not accessible.
These are times of reflection, of being more conscious and understanding our relationships with ourselves, with other people, with our environment, and with companies.
Due to the pandemic, we’ve faced a lot of extra challenges at Wheel the World (Operational, strategic, and revenue related). But, this time also was a big opportunity. An opportunity to reexamine who we are, what we want and why we work every day.
In my perception, Marketing is the most misunderstood area of a company. Marketing is much more than a social media post, fancy advertisement, or email. Virtually, it’s everything that a company does and represents. Because everything we do and say is how our clients and community perceive us. As Seth Godin says in This is Marketing, Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem.” If we can help people become the best versions of themselves, we are doing good marketing. We want to connect with our community to really understand how they see the world and what their needs and wants are.
If you’re not a brand you’re a commodity. That’s why we took 5 months to understand and correctly define what Wheel the World is and what we do. We spent hours reading, conversing, and creating definitions to get to our WHY. “The WHY of a company is what gives its purpose life. The passion and reason why the company exists every day. Without a sense of purpose, there is no sense of direction, no passion, and no creativity to move forward. The WHY is what keeps the falme of literally the entire organization alive. That’s why it’s essential to always keep it in mind and not lose sight of it because it’s what gets us up every morning,” Yoel Waisberg, Head of Culture.
With a clear WHY, leaders and teams can work with more conviction and inspiration and with the sensation that we are working every day to make the world a more just place. We want Wheel the World to be a place where every person in our community – employees, clients, followers, partners, and investors – feels part of it.
We know that to attract attention we have to be different, and to be different we have to have a strong brand. A brand that is built upon trust and relationships, that has an authentic personality. Each of us has to strongly believe in what they do to be unique at what we do. That’s why we understood that at Wheel the World, we strongly believe that the world has to be accessible for everyone, so that anyone can enjoy it like anyone else.
The world isn’t accessible. It lacks inclusion and accessibility, it lacks infrastructure and a cultural change. A disability becomes real when it prevents someone from being in conditions equal to those around them. There are many aspects we have to face to eliminate the barriers that come with having a disability. Today at Wheel the World, we want to create the best solution for people with disabilities, their friends, and family to find and book accessible experiences around the world. We know that information about accessibility is not accurate and difficult to find in one place, and any companies don’t understand the real needs of people with disabilities.
If we want to make this world accessible, we understand that we can’t do it alone and that the only way to make it work is through collaboration. We have to accept our vulnerabilities and work with humility to grow and improve every day. We are passionate about accessibility, and we know that there is so much to learn. To make this world accessible we must be positive activists, finding and sharing solutions, communicating authentically, and creating a cultural change. Finally, we don’t accept this world as it is, we don’t accept the inaccessible system that exists and that’s why we must be disruptive and challenge the status quo with the courage to think, feel and act differently.