Driving your brand with powerful vision
Breaking through the white noise
It’s a noisy, crowded marketplace out there. To get your business to potential customers, you need to break through that noise – but how? Just shouting louder only goes so far. You need to look to decide how to get your business where it deserves to be. It’s about defining the path to get you there, and that means developing a brand vision statement with a mission statement to back it up. Here’s how.
Do the research hard yards
Sit down with your best people and decide what you want your business to accomplish. A goal to merely double your profits in however many years is not enough. Who will it benefit? What value will your brand add to your clients, your suppliers and even your own staff?
To answer those questions – and you won’t get very far until you do – you need to know the kinds of people you are dealing with. Who are your customers, and how do they feel about your brand? The easiest way to do this is to start asking – launch some surveys, have coffees with your happiest clients, ask potential clients why they didn’t convert.
You also need to take a hard look at your business. What is your brand known for, and how do you measure success? What sort of people work for you, and how do they make up your work culture?
Inspire your people
Pick a time frame – one year, five years, ten – and decide where you’d like your brand to be in that time. Consider a range of goals – attracting great staff, gaining fresh markets, diversifying, changing direction, going ‘green’ – so that you don’t limit your scope.
Keep your clients and staff in mind – how you can help them, include them and inspire them. After all, you won’t be carrying out this vision by yourself.
Write it down and keep it simple
When it comes to actually writing your vision statement, keep it in the ‘now’ – not what’s going to happen but what is happening. Carefully choose meaningful words, use short sentences, and be specific. Happy generalities that could be any brand’s vision has no place in yours.
Don’t be afraid to use emotion in your vision statement. If you have a passion about your brand, let it shine forth.
But keep it real. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it needs to sound high-minded or fancy. You might end up with a statement no-one cares about or even understands.
“Our mission is to re-contextualise the leading-edge mindshare and dramatically synergise principle-centred catalysts for change.”
If your brand’s vision statement sounds even a little bit like this, you need to go back and start again.
Something more like these is better – they’re big goals, but very simple to understand.
Don’t confuse your vision with your mission. Where vision is all about ‘being’, your mission statement should be all about ‘doing’ – how you’re going to get your brand to where you’ve decided it will be in one, five or ten years.
That means looking at practical things – what you do, how and why you do it, and your brand’s point of difference from competitors. That last one – the point of difference – could be the key to achieving your vision.
Don’t write a book
You’ve collected all your data, and there’s a lot of it, so now comes the hard part. Condense your brand’s mission statement into one or two sentences. Again, use direct, clear language – not buzz words – that reveals not just what you do, but also why you do it. It should be a message that resonates with your audience – customers, suppliers, staff – and encourages them to join the march.
Test it – show it to someone who’s not staff or a customer, and see if they can understand it. If they get what you do and why, then you’ve pretty much nailed it.
Stick to a few simple rules
Developing brand vision and mission statements isn’t rocket science – but it isn’t a snap either. Stick to a few rules, and you’ll get there:
- Decide where you want your brand to be and why
- Involve staff
- Know who your clients are
- Refine your mission – how to get where you’re going
- Use simple, clear language
- Avoid buzzwords – always keep it real.