When a organization’s brand underperforms, so does the organization and its stakeholders. What might be responsible for an underperforming brand? Too much emphasis on identity than story. Too much emphasis on reach and frequency than authenticity and consistency. A story that plays it safe. A story that is hijacked as it moves farther from the leader who is the defacto author of the story. A story that isn’t based on a deeply rooted belief system.
How does an organization “be real”? Clarify and articulate why you exist in the first place. Besides making money, what is your purpose? What good are you trying to do in the world? Why does that matter? What’s in it for the rest of us? If you build story around the answers, the story has the power to attract allies to the cause. It’s a call to action that other people, who think like you, have been waiting for. A story rooted in universal truths aligns your plans with your actions. It gives your message consistency. Your ground truth is an under leveraged asset. Your competition can’t replicate it. You can use it as a business driver.
If you want to learn how to clarify and articulate your higher purpose in the form of a compelling story that attracts allies to the cause, coffee is on me.
If the seat of the stool is the story about the difference you make in the world, what are its three supporting legs? One would be your higher purpose. What drives you besides making money? Another would be your vision. What does the world look like when you succeed? The third would be your mission. If your vision paints a picture of a better future state, what are the beliefs and values that guide you there?
Many organization, especially non-profits, rely on mission statements alone. Most of them read like a list of the services they provide with some human resources compliance issues having to do with diversity and community bolted on. Many business mission statements play it safe and come off generic by promising value, a commitment to service and quality, and so on. Things everyone promises. As for higher purpose, that doesn’t even occur to most. Yet, it is an important differentiator to most buyers. Your higher purpose may not even reside in the realm “business” but be something more aspirational or even spiritual. While you may not share it publicly you need to know it, internalize it, and figure out how to imply and signify it.
If this piques your interest and you like to learn more about how to find and articulate your higher purpose and why that matters, coffee is on me.
Contact your most profitable clients and offer to listen to what they have to say about your offerings and your company. From the results you’ll know whether it’s time to repair or nurture the relationship, or if you have the green light to ask for new business.
Out of college I produced theater in southern New Mexico, mounting a new production every four to six weeks non-stop for 5 years. People rehearsed with me for three hours a night after working eight hours a day. Then they performed on the weekends, all for little or no money. Why would they do this? Working together in service of something greater than you is very satisfying.
Branding is about the law of attraction. Modern branding harnesses the power of story to attract your most profitable customer. Your story is like a beacon that helps people who want to buy from you, work for you, and invest in you find you in a noisy cluttered marketplace.