WHY DO SOME BRANDS STRUGGLE?
In our connected world, today’s savvy consumer is increasingly being influenced and buying from brands they see as relevant and above all, ones they can trust. For any long term marketing strategy to work, what you believe and stand for needs to be ingrained in your DNA.
In branding there is one fundamental component that guides success, and without it you’re paddling up stream without a paddle – and that secret ingredient is your own unique purpose. The truth is great brands are rare, and for good reason, they require solid foundations and a strong commitment that can only be driven by purpose and passion from the top down.
Your purpose comes from your strongly held beliefs and informs the values that guide you and your business, and reflects how you want to influence the world. It is your “why” that matters most – and it’s unique to you.
What you believe is everything. When you lead with purpose, integrity follows. If you think about the brands that have iconic status like Nike and Apple, or great politicians throughout history for that matter, it’s their purpose that resonates so deeply with us.
We believe in these brands and people because we get shown the world in a new way through their eyes.
It’s because of what they stand for that they are able to stand apart.
This first and most important step in the branding process is often missed out, because so many people simply start a business, they don’t plan it expecting everything to just workout.
In my experience, when you are clear on your purpose, you see what others miss. A propose that leads to a differentiated positioning leads to fertile ground to grow in.
Your purpose is the glue behind the strategies and steps that inform your compelling brand presence.
START TO PLAN
The key to finding your purpose is to ask yourself why your company exists.
Great companies have a purpose that people can feel passionate about. It’s the difference you want to make on the planet through your business.
Your Purpose generally takes the form of a written statement that represents why your company matters.
- create the underlying rationale for company activity and decision making
- motivate employees and keep your team focussed on achieving success
- attract customers who are ready to reward businesses that put their skills and resources to work for a common good that they also believe in.
The power here is in the alignment. By tying your purpose to your vision and values you’re well on the way to building an original brand.
Here’s an example from Infusionsoft.
Their purpose is = To help small businesses succeed
Their why = Small business is our business
Once they were clear on their purpose they developed nine core values that all staff and stakeholders live by:
- Empower entrepreneurs
- Listen, we care, we serve
- Do what we say we’ll do
- Practise open, real communication
- Face challenges with optimism
- Check our egos at the door
- Innovate and constantly improve
- Do the right thing
- Believe in people and their dreams
You can see from this example how their purpose forms the foundations from which they built thier hugley successful company.
To shape a brand, larger corporations bog themselves down in documents, standards, paperwork and systems. A smaller business must play to its strengths and keep the brand alive using the personal touch which is why your purpose is so important. With smaller marketing budgets’, remember your customers’ personal contact with your staff will shape their perception of your brand.
If you need help to develop your brand foundations, including your purpose, our Brand Plan workshop could be a great place to start. Contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more details.
photo credit: Phil Dragash via photopin cc