In the last decade, slowly but surely, something has been happening in the business world and 2013 was when we decided we wanted to do something about it.
Year by year, especially end of year holiday period, we were noticing that our partners were exchanging less and less (corporate) gifts. And it wasn't about the gifts - this was symptomatic of something much more worrying – the business community has been losing its humanity.
As a (deceivingly) small Croatian company, backed up by the strength of our European and American principals, we truly have had the front seat to the international business community. During our twenty five years working in marine business with people from all around the world, we have met extraordinary individuals who have time and again confirmed to us that enthusiasm, hard work, acceptance of responsibility, persistent creativity and determination in tackling every day challenges are what make (business) life worth living.
These people were exactly the inspiration for our creative brand Authentic & Certified by Crocon (A&C) created in 2013. Under the brand we developed a collection of products, gifts for our partners and friends, and it has been evolving ever since to show these few good men our appreciation and thank them for steadily being there with their actions, making daily situations easier, more enjoyable and thus allowing us to still find purpose and satisfaction in our work all these years later.
"Our relationships, whether business or personal, are nourished and shaped by the commitment we express through our actions." - Dr Steve Maraboli
With this in mind and with a clear mission to put the forgotten principles in the forefront of people's minds again, we decided to take our message and share it using everyday practical items - notepads, pens, wipes for gasses, breath mints, table calendars. The focus was put on the four values which we've found most vulnerable and most extremely lacking: SIMPLICITY, POSITIVITY, (GOOD) COMMUNICATION and PROACTIVITY.
This way we took what bothered and disappointed us the most and went in contrary direction by emphasizing the behaviors and values we appreciated in people. We want to bring back what once was not so rare – fullness of relationships with our business partners, kept promises, the wonderful gentlemen's agreement based on trust and far stronger than any of today's endless contracts made almost ridiculous in the climate which lacks any human dignity and values.
So the evolving collection is our way of venting an coping, making every day brighter, and by lighting up our micro-environment which allows us to create the positive messages, we hope to spread the consciousness of today's business reality and why we need to work to make it just a bit more humane again. Because we HAVE lived this way of business and truly believe we can again.
In 2017 Crocon Case was created, a unique, originally designed gift box carrying our messages right there on the lid, accompanied by original photography by Crocon CEO Linda Poščić Borovac. This way as you received the case you would know you are in posession of something different, well thought-out and worth more than its material value. By encouraging the giftee to "PUT YOUR POSITIVE PANTS ON", "MIND YOUR MANNERS", "BE PATIENT" and "FEED YOUR FOCUS" – we wanted to bring an immediate smile to their face, but also make them wonder.
And inside the box we put all our individual items carrying our original messages, with the newest addition for 2018: Crocon's magic potions, to be used when our four values seem unachievable without some extra help. There are four potions to be used responsibly and only when neccessary, all inspired by those occurences we desperately miss today in ourselves and people who surround us: REPONSABILIS, PERSISTINIUM, TRANQUILLUM and HUMORIX. The bottles are filled with real herbs and spices chosen purposefully depending on what is missing – mint for persistence, rosemary for joy, lemon balm for peace and quiet and cinnamon for responsability. The potions are distributed inside the case as a set fastened to a small originally designed card and on the back of it we reveal the "true identity" of each potion, jokingly but truthfully explaining the benefit of each one.
There is no handbook or gospel that can teach us integrity, responsibility, positivity, passion, dedication, reliability in business and life in general, if we are not truly ready to give it our best.
So the point is – the “potions” are always there, but only WE have the power to make them work.
By receiving the Crocon Case you get not just any old corporate gift, but an actual business jungle survival kit – an awakening call and a hopeful life rope. Because we are all in it together.
Judging from the feedback from our partners adn friends who are on the receiving end of our messages every year, we know our efforts are recognized and awarded with mutual understanding, a simple nod of the head, a smile, a "Thank you" and most importantly - motivation and desire to contribute to this improved version of the world. As long as there are still those that haven't forgotten the importance of humanity, decency and understanding – those undeniable marks of strength in these times of burnout – we will have a reason and motive to keep creating under A&C.