I’ve spent the last 20+ years working on and developing brands and I have seen how much the word ‘Brand’ has transformed during that time.
Talk to just a few people and you’ll hear a range of different versions of what a brand is perceived to be in our current 21st Century world.
For me, it’s always been about the development of a quality product, service or cause that creates a strong desire and following with its audience/customers/clients and embodies it’s mission, vision and values through consistent communication, innovation and customer service.
However, there’s one thing has predominantly rang true for me regardless of the changes throughout the years and is evidenced by those businesses that have been able to withstand countless acts of market, industry and economic turbulence.
They all create a formidable foundation by focusing on their Mission, Vision and Values.
Every business must have something to stand for, their reason for being, their purpose and difference they want to make in the world.
Mission, vision and value statements are what underpins and upholds your brand. They are what makes a brand a brand.
They’re designed to support the way you design and deliver your products and services, the visual and written messages that make an impact on your audience, the way you conduct your business both in-house and to your customers and most of all, they ensure you remain consistent, recognisable and trusted as an organisation that fulfils its promises.
The following will help you understand the importance of implementing and focusing on these three foundations from an internal, external and business perspective within your business:
Your Mission Statement
A mission statement is a short statement of why an you exist and your overall goals, highlighting how you operate; the kind of product or service you provide; your primary customers or market, and your geographical region of operation. It may also include your values, philosophies, and main competitive advantage/s.
Internal Focus - When you stay true to your mission, everyone within your business should understand how their role fits into it. Which element of that statement they are responsible for and how to ensure that they follow-through on that statement in their work.
External Focus - Your customers or clients have a clear understanding of what you do and how you can support them with their challenges or how to achieve their goals and the ideal outcomes they can expect from working with or buying from you, rather than your competitors.
Business Focus – As a business this is your reason for being and why you started the business in the first place. It allows you to showcase who you serve, what you do and why people should trust and buy from you. It’s your way of helping your audience see how you stand out from everyone else in your industry.
Your Vision Statement
A vision statement is an aspirational statement of an idealistic and emotional future of your company or organisation. It helps you to focus on where you intend to take your business in the future and the level of interaction, and emotional connection you desire to build with your customers/clients, supporting you to visualise the potential impact your products, services or cause could have on the world.
Internal Focus – Every business must change, adapt and, refocus to stay relevant to their audience. The vision for your business should support your team in understanding why focusing on and implementing improvements in their area of expertise strengthens the innovation and flexibility of your organisation when predicting and responding to the inevitable changes and challenges your industry and customers will experience.
External Focus – With every generation, new expectations are formed. A business that is capable of managing and anticipating those expectations and adapting their brand, products and services accordingly is a business that maintains longevity, value, and trust with their customers to put their needs first.
Business Focus – When you can see where you are going, and you have a plan and determination to get there, the development of your business is managed with a future focus and the expectation of improving commercial value, building creativity and embedding the significant impact your brand can create in the world.
A values statement represents the core beliefs of your organization which inspires and guides its choices in the way it operates and deals with people. These values should be imbedded in both the mission and the vision and form an integral part of all internal and external communications.
Internal Focus – As the above description says, your values are what represents the core beliefs of your organisation, the way it operates and deals with people. This is what shapes your business culture and binds together the way in which you and your team interact and behave both internally and externally. This is the physical representation of your brand to your customers and one of the most important aspects of reinforcing the perception your business creates in their minds.
External Focus – Your customers or clients want to know that they are dealing with a business that has integrity, a good reputation and understanding of how to respect the loyalty they provide. Every interaction they have with your business should showcase why they are happy to be your brand advocates.
Business Focus – Your values are what your business means to you and your audience. They are your reputation, your credibility, your integrity and your respect. When embodied throughout your business both internally and externally they are what make your business a brand to be looked up to and admired.
It takes time to build a successful, recognisable and respected brand. However, when you have a strong foundation in place, supporting everything you stand for and you stay true to your mission, vision and values, you are able to deliver on the consistency, trust and value expected of a business that will continue to grow and outperform even its own expectations.
For more information or support with developing a great business or personal brand, why not schedule a free brand strategy session with me today?
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